• December 20, 2022

Man, Teen, Child Injured in Wrong-Way Crash on SH 31 in Navarro County, TX

Navarro County, TX — December 4, 2022, a man, a teen, and a juvenile were seriously injured in a traffic accident on State Highway 31 in Navarro County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 12:20 a.m. on Highway 31 near Farm to Market Road 1129. Preliminary investigation suggests a 20-year-old man was driving a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup west in the eastbound lanes of the highway, against traffic, when he approached an oncoming Ford Mustang driven by a 17-year-old girl. The teen reportedly tried to steer clear of the pickup but the vehicles collided in the eastbound lanes.

The teen driver and a 7-year-old boy in her vehicle suffered serious injuries in the crash. The pickup driver, also seriously injured, was suspected of being intoxicated and blood samples were collected for testing.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Navarro County Wrong-Way Accident on SH 31

Police suggested alcohol may have been a significant factor here as it is in many wrong-way crashes on Texas highways. If blood tests confirm their suspicions the wrong-way driver may be in some hot water for his poor choices that night, and rightly so--drunk driving puts everyone at risk and appropriate punishment should follow. However, I think that same idea should extend to everyone responsible for the damage done, and that's why it's important to talk about Texas dram shop law.

Man, Teen, Child Injured in Wrong-Way Crash on SH 31 in Navarro County, TX

Under dram shop law a licensed alcohol vendor (bar, club, restaurant, store, etc) that sells or serves drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer may be liable for damage that customer causes or suffers while under the influence. In other words, a drunk driver may not be the only one legally responsible for hurting someone--the place that got him drunk may have some consequences of its own coming as well.

Most businesses follow the rules and not every DWI crash involves a dram violation, but where the drinks came from is still an important detail to know for sure when alcohol use and injuries may be tied together. Unfortunately, police rarely keep a DWI investigation going long enough to look into possible dram violations so that often falls to independent investigators instead. Regardless of who does the looking, though, making sure a bar stops endangering its community is important. If some injured folks can get help resuming their lives too, that's all the more reason to get the ball rolling.

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