One Killed, One Injured in Crossover Crash on TX-21 in Caldwell County
Caldwell County, TX — September 17, 2022, one person died and another was seriously injured in an auto accident on State Highway 21 in Caldwell County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 1:35 a.m. on Highway 21 near mile marker 544. Preliminary investigation suggests a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup was westbound on the highway as a Kia Forte was headed east nearby in the opposite lane. The Dodge reportedly crossed left of center and crashed into the Kia, causing disabling damage to both vehicles.
The Kia driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the Dodge was seriously injured and was taken to an area hospital.
Police suspected the Dodge driver of being intoxicated and requested a warrant for blood tests.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Caldwell County Accident on SH 21
It's obviously concerning any time alcohol comes up after a crash like this. If evidence confirms police are right and the crossover driver was intoxicated, no doubt people will want to see appropriate consequences follow for the heavy toll his bad choices took. That's wholly understandable considering the dangers intoxicated drivers pose to themselves and others. However, he may not actually be the only one to hold accountable here. That's why it's important to talk about Texas dram shop law.
Under dram shop law an alcohol provider (bar, restaurant, club, store, etc) that sells or serves drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer may be liable for injuries that customer causes while under the influence. People often don't know those businesses are legally prohibited from over-serving their customers because they see it happen over and over again, and those establishments will keep putting lives at risk until they face consequences significant enough to make them clean up their act. Dram shop is an effective tool to hold them accountable--both to the state for breaking the law and to the victims and families they hurt with their recklessness.
I'm not accusing any local businesses of illegally over-serving the crossover driver, but the source of his alcohol is an important detail to figure out during a proper investigation. Will police efforts alone be enough to get some real answers and resolution for the people who need them?