William Carpenter Injured in Car Accident on Lake Drive in Taylor, TX
Taylor, TX — September 14, 2022, 57-year-old William Carpenter was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident on Lake Drive in Williamson County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 10:30 p.m. in the area of 1020 Lake Drive in Taylor. Preliminary investigation suggests Carpenter was driving a Ford Mustang north into a driveway at that address when he failed to reduce his speed. The Mustang crashed into a parked and unoccupied Ford F-150 in the driveway, pushing the pickup into the home's garage.
Carpenter suffered serious injuries in the collision. Investigators believed he was under the influence of alcohol and collected blood samples for testing.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on William Carpenter Accident in Taylor
People may read the description of the crash, see that investigators think the driver was drunk to some degree, and think there's little else to say aside from charging him appropriately. That's incorrect for a number of reasons:
- It's always important to investigate thoroughly in case other less-obvious factors were involved in a wreck;
- Impairment is only a suspicion unless blood tests show otherwise;
- Even if the driver was impaired there may be other issues to investigate due to Texas dram shop law.
What's dram shop law, you ask? Well, Texas feels that drink-slinging businesses like bars, clubs, restaurants, and various stores won't stop dangerously over-serving obviously intoxicated customers unless they're legally forbidden to (and for the most part they're right). Many such businesses do so anyway despite that, though, which is why dram shop law holds them legally responsible for any damage their dangerously-intoxicated customers cause--even to themselves--while under the influence.
When a bar ignores the law and puts people in danger, it deserves proper consequences the same as their over-served customers receive for driving drunk. Dram shop law provides those consequences while also ensuring that drunk driving victims (even the drivers) have a chance to confront the law for recklessly endangering them. Will police find out if something like that happened here, or would the injured victim be better served by independent investigators taking a closer look?