• January 20, 2023

One Seriously Injured in Three-Vehicle Crash off Ben White Blvd in Austin, TX

Austin, TX — September 11, 2022, a 34-year-old man was seriously injured in a three-vehicle accident on the Ben White Boulevard service road in Austin.

Authorities say the incident happened around 9:12 p.m. on the East Ben White service road at Todd Lane. Preliminary investigation suggests a GMC pickup was headed east on the service road when the driver allegedly failed to control speed and rear-ended a Ford F-150, which was stopped for a red light at Todd Lane. The impact pushed the Ford into the intersection, where it was hit by a southbound Mazda GLC van.

The GMC driver suffered serious injuries in the collision. Both the Ford's occupants reportedly received minor injuries; the van's four occupants were unhurt.

Investigators alleged alcohol consumption might have been a factor and collected blood specimens for testing.

No further information is currently available.

People sometimes take preliminary reports about a crash as all there really is to know. Police alleged that a driver crashed into someone while possibly under the influence, so what more is there to say? Let me explain why that logic misses the mark.

First of all, impairment is just a theory unless blood tests say otherwise, so while they're still waiting their turn in the lab it's premature to decide alcohol played a part. A lot of things can make someone accidentally run into another vehicle, and while some of them might be within a driver's control others are decidedly not—and all of them must be evaluated to be sure of what did and didn't happen.

Furthermore, even if those blood tests ultimately show that impairment was a factor there may be more to the story. In many cases DWI crashes happen because a driver was illegally over-served by a local business, and when that happens the business may be partly responsible for injuries he causes or suffers in his intoxicated state. That's not always the case, but if it's possible an area bar is ignoring its duty to public safety that reckless behavior must be stopped quickly.

All I'm really getting at here is that things aren't always as simple as they seem from a few sentences in the news or a police statement. Anyone hurt in an accident deserves to know that every effort was made to find the whole story; I hope the injured folks in Austin got that from the authorities.

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