Four Injured in Car Accident at South Congress and Lightsey in Austin, TX
Austin, TX — October 1, 2022, four people were injured, one seriously, in an auto accident on South Congress Avenue in Austin.
Authorities say the incident happened around 3:25 a.m. on the 3400 block of South Congress at Lightsey Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a Tesla Roadster was westbound on Lightsey as a Nissan Rogue was headed south on South Congress. Investigators are uncertain which vehicle ran a red light at the intersection but the two collided in the crossroads, after which they both ran off the southwest corner.
A 36-year-old man in the Nissan suffered incapacitating injuries in the crash. Its driver and the Tesla's two occupants reportedly received minor injuries.
Officers suspected the Tesla driver was under the influence of alcohol and collected blood samples for testing.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Austin Crash at South Congress and Lightsey
If tests confirm alcohol was involved here then the crash may have other implications--ones that are too often overlooked as people rush to put all the blame on a drunk driver. What do I mean? Well, there's often someone else involved in alcohol-related wrecks that escapes responsibility for the part it played: the alcohol provider. Many folks don't realize that licensed alcohol vendors may have some legal responsibility for a DWI crash victim's injuries under Texas dram shop law.
In a nutshell, dram shop law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for injuries that person causes or suffers while under the influence. While a drunk driver usually has to pay a steep price for their bad choices after a wreck like the one in Austin, the business that got him drunk should also be held accountable for endangering its customers and the public. Dram shop law makes sure that happens, while also granting injured victims the right to confront those negligent businesses in court.
Not every DWI crash involves a dram shop violation, and maybe no Austin business contributed to the damage on South Congress. However, any crash where police suspect alcohol's involvement should get a full investigation--including finding out where the drinks came from. Was that done here, or should someone take another look?