Russell Williams, Cleys Williams Injured in Alleged Drunk Driver Accident in Dallas, TX
Dallas, TX — December 9, 2023, Russell Williams and Cleys Williams were injured following a car accident at around 7:25 p.m. on Midway Road.
Authorities said in public statements that they responded to the intersection of Midway Road and Walnut Hill Lane for a two-vehicle collision.
Currently available details say that Russell Williams and Cleys Williams, both 58 at the time, were in a Toyota pickup going westbound along Walnut Hill. As they crossed the intersection, police say an oncoming Mitsubishi Outlander failed to yield while making a left turn, crashing head-on with the Toyota pickup.
Due to the collision, Russell Williams had apparently moderate injuries while Cleys's injuries were described as serious. There were no other confirmed injuries.
At this time, statements from officials allege that the driver of the Mitsubishi was under the influence of alcohol when the crash occurred. It's unclear, though, if they have filed any charges. Additional details are unavailable.
If it's true a drunk driver caused these injuries, then I find it odd that authorities haven't even mentioned the possibility of charges in their preliminary statements. Hopefully they've taken steps behind the scenes and just haven't spoken publicly about it. Otherwise, if they're not taking steps to see a drunk driver held accountable for their actions, my concern is they may be overlooking other accomplices who contributed to the crash.
I know what some readers are thinking: "Who else is there besides the drunk driver?" I get that question all the time because folks don't know that bars, restaurants, and other alcohol providers can be responsible for contributing to an accident like this. They don't know this because authorities and even other people in my line of work just don't prioritize it as much as they do the drunk drivers. That's an oversight I always seek to correct.
Now to be clear, I have no inside information that the alleged drunk driver was coming from a bar or restaurant. However, the statistics tell us that most drunk drivers aren't going out for a joyride after drinking at home but rather coming from an establishment where they were drinking. Further, those same statistics tell us that there are more drunk driving accidents early Saturday evening than there are around last call Monday through Thursday. Put those two together, and it's more likely than not that the alleged drunk driver was coming from a licensed alcohol provider before the crash.
Here's why that makes a difference; most of the time, authorities are as quick as can be charging the drunk drivers for their actions. That's totally understandable. But then when we're investigating a bar or finding a bartender that illegally over-served that driver, no one even takes the time to look into that.
There are some departments who actually go that extra mile and investigate restaurants and bartenders, as they should according to Texas law. But those departments are unfortunately few and far between. So these businesses that should be facing fines and suspended licenses get off scot-free unless there's someone to let the TABC know where to look, or an attorney who understands this area of the law.
Frankly, investigating alcohol providers after a serious drunk driving crash shouldn't be the exception to the rule; it should be the rule. Texas passed laws to prevent these kinds of accidents by holding everyone involved in the incident accountable for their dangerous behavior. This isn't Mike's law or how I wish things were. It's what our elected representatives agreed upon.
When authorities don't use all the tools available for them, they're tacitly condoning something our lawmakers have already decided is unacceptable. And that's something that we should never ask a victim of these kinds of crashes to accept.