• December 08, 2022

Three Injured in Crossover Accident on Ridge Road in Pharr, TX

Pharr, TX — August 15, 2022, three people were seriously injured in a crash involving a suspected DWI driver on Ridge Road in Hidalgo County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 8:20 p.m. on West Ridge Road near South Old Ridge Road. Preliminary investigation suggests 42-year-old Darek Earhart was driving a Ford F-150 west in the inner lane of Ridge Road as a Nissan Sentra traveled east nearby on the other side.

According to reports Earhart drifted left out of his lane, passed through the center turn lane, and entered the eastbound lane. After entering oncoming traffic the pickup crashed head-on with the Nissan, after which the car was rear-ended by a Honda Civic that may have been following too closely.

The Nissan's 31-year-old driver and its 30-year-old passenger were seriously injured in the crash. Earhart also received serious injuries. The Honda driver sustained possible injuries.

Investigators suspected Earhart of driving under the influence of alcohol and collected blood samples for testing.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Pharr Crossover Accident on Ridge Rd

Police believe the crossover driver might have been intoxicated here. I can't speak to that one way or the other, but if blood tests confirm their suspicions some may think that just means he'll be charged accordingly. While it's important that people who drive drunk face serious consequences, there may be more to this than those people realize. For one thing, there's often another party to hold accountable for its role in accidents like this one.

Texas dram shop law broadens the scope of responsibility for DWI wrecks beyond just the drivers themselves to sometimes include the businesses that sold them their drinks. If further investigation found the crossover suspect was over-served by a bar or restaurant before hitting the road that evening, that business may be liable for the damage he caused to the other victims and to himself. It would then be expected to make what amends it could to the people hurt by its reckless and illegal behavior.

Just to be clear, alcohol's only a suspicion right now--not a proven fact. Anything from slippery roads to vehicle malfunctions to even a big sneeze could have sent that pickup through the turn lane, and it's important that all the possibilities are duly explored and the suspect gets the benefit of the doubt. I mention dram shop only because police mentioned alcohol, yet they rarely look beyond the alleged drunk driver in those situations. If a bar's bad behavior should be stopped, that may take efforts above and beyond those of law enforcement.

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