• October 20, 2022

Tammy Bitterly Killed in Auto Accident on US-87 in Dewitt County, TX

Dewitt County, TX — August 25, 2022, 56-year-old Tammy Bitterly died in a traffic accident with a tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 87 in Dewitt County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 1:10 a.m. on US-87 near mile marker 766. Preliminary investigation suggests Bitterly was driving a Buick Enclave south on the highway when she lost control for unconfirmed reasons. The Buick reportedly crossed left of center into the oncoming lanes and then crashed into the left side of a northbound Freightliner 18-wheeler. After the impact the Buick spun away and the truck ran off the west side of the road, then overturned.

Bitterly suffered fatal injuries in the collision. The truck driver reportedly received serious injuries.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Tammy Bitterly Accident in Dewitt County

I can't say whether or not police suspicions about intoxication in this crash are true. However, as blood tests seem to confirm their belief the claim should be taken seriously. The crossover driver's tragic passing may mean she's beyond the law's reach, but evidence pointing to alcohol's influence could mean that another party should still answer for the part it played.

Texas dram shop law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for injuries they cause or suffer while under the influence. A bar or other vendor that breaks the law by continuing to sell or serve to someone past her limits may be considered an accomplice of sorts to any damage she does (even to herself) afterward. Allowing the folks hurt by that business' negligence to hold it accountable can get them some much-needed help; dram shop is also a vital tool to get those negligent businesses to clean up their act and stop endangering their community.

Tammy Bitterly Killed in Auto Accident on US-87 in Dewitt County, TX

Despite all that, I've seen firsthand just how little attention these issues get from the authorities. Whether it's a lack of equipment, training, time, or priority causing police not to look, things like dram shop violations too often slip through the cracks.

Maybe nothing like that even happened here, but it's important for people to know what possible factors to consider ahead of time in order to ensure they're getting the full story--and what they need to hold the right parties accountable.

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