Bruce Cockrell Jr, Teen Injured in Crash with Alleged Drunk Driver on Kuykendahl Rd in Harris County, TX
Harris County, TX — November 20, 2022, 56-year-old Bruce Cockrell Jr. and a teen were injured by an alleged DWI driver on Kuykendahl Road in Harris County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 11:25 p.m. on Kuykendahl near Woerner Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a Chevy Silverado was northbound on Kuykendahl as Cockrell was driving a GMC Yukon south in the same area. Reports indicate the Chevy driver crossed over the center line and crashed head-on with the Yukon.
Cockrell and a 13-year-old in the SUV were injured in the collision. The Chevy driver was reportedly unhurt.
Investigators suspected the crossover driver of being under the influence of alcohol. Breath tests indicated he had an approximate BAC of .166 at the time of the crash.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Bruce Cockrell Accident in Harris County
Breathalyzers tend to have a higher margin of error than some other methods of verifying alcohol, but even allowing for that it seems police had reason to think intoxication was a factor on Kuydendahl Road.
Some may feel the only thing left to do with that information is charge the suspect accordingly. It's important that drunk drivers face serious penalties for their choices, yes, but criminal punishment also does little to help injured crash victims with the cost and hardship of recovery. That might be addressed another way with the help of Texas dram shop law.
Under dram shop law, an alcohol provider that over-serves an obviously intoxicated customer may be liable for injuries caused by that person while they're under the influence. If the Harris County suspect was over-served somewhere that night and his intoxication caused the crash and the victims' injuries, the business that provided his drinks may have a duty to help them get back on their feet.
Texas alcohol providers have a legal responsibility not to over-serve people, though with the number of drunk driving wrecks reported every day it seems like many of them don't care. When they ignore the rules and people get hurt, they should make amends for their recklessness. Most businesses follow the rules and not every DWI case involves a dram shop violation, but the possibility should be looked into when alcohol use seems to be tied to serious injuries. Shutting down negligent and illegal over-service and getting injured people some much-needed help are more than enough reason.