• November 17, 2022

Brianna Baeza Injured in Car Accident on US-59 in Wharton, TX

Wharton, TX — October 15, 2022, 23-year-old Brianna Baeza was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 59 in Wharton.

Authorities say the incident occurred around 9:45 p.m. on US-59 near County Road 148. Preliminary investigation suggests Baeza was a passenger in a Ford Fusion traveling north on the highway. The driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle, which veered east off the road and overturned in a ditch.

Baeza suffered serious injuries in the crash and was airlifted to an area hospital. The car's driver was suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and blood samples were collected for testing.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Brianna Baeza Accident in Wharton

People tend to see suspected DWI accidents like this and quickly pin all the blame on the alleged drunk drivers. "They got drunk and drove," the argument goes, "so who else would even be responsible for that?" Well, under Texas dram shop law a business that helped him get too intoxicated to drive safely might actually have a share of the responsibility for the damage he caused to his passenger.

Under dram shop law, licensed alcohol vendors like bars and restaurants are required to cut customers off if they're obviously intoxicated. Continuing to serve them alcohol after that is illegal, yet many businesses prioritize a few more bucks over public safety and keep serving up drinks. When that happens and their over-intoxicated customers hurt themselves or others, dram shop may hold that business accountable for the part it played in the damage done.

Brianna Baeza Injured in Wharton, TX Car Accident on US-59

To be clear, intoxication is only suspected here--not proven. Just because I'm talking about some further implications of it doesn't mean it's a done deal, and the driver is entitled to the benefit of the doubt unless clear evidence says otherwise. If it does, though, then the investigation should include the alcohol's source in case a local business must be stopped from endangering its customers and community. If the injured passenger can get some help with her recovery in the process, that's all the more reason to take the needed steps.

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