James Hudgins Injured in Crash with Suspected DWI Driver on FM 51 in Wise County, TX
Wise County, TX — October 26, 2022, 55-year-old James Hudgins was seriously injured in a crash with a suspected DWI driver on FM 51 in Wise County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 5:45 a.m. along Farm to Market Road 51 at FM 455. Preliminary investigation suggests a Chevrolet Sonic was traveling north on the roadway when the driver made a left turn toward westbound FM 455. She reportedly failed to yield to Hudgins' southbound Harley-Davidson motorcycle and the two collided in the crossroads.
Hudgins suffered serious injuries in the crash. The 20-year-old Chevy driver was unhurt.
Police suspect the car's driver of being intoxicated and drew blood samples for testing.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on James Hudgins Accident in Wise County
Police said the young driver who failed to yield may have been under the influence of alcohol. That's a concerning suspicion for any driver, but the possibility of an underage one being at all impaired is even more troubling--and could have further implications if a local business sold that young woman her drinks directly. If so it could be in some hot water for serving underage customers, but it might also be liable for the injuries dealt to the victim in this crash.
Texas dram shop law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication. Put another way, drunk drivers aren't the only ones to hold accountable for their crashes--the businesses who get them that way are sometimes also responsible in the eyes of the law.
In my experience, any business reckless (or at least inept) enough not to carefully check ID is unlikely to draw the line at over-serving their underage customers as well. If a business did that and someone got hurt as a consequence, that establishment may have a duty to make amends for the part it played.
So did authorities look into the events preceding this crash? The answer to that could reveal a local business that needs to be taught a harsh lesson, and in the process an injured man could potentially get some much-needed help getting back on his feet.