17-year-old Killed in Alleged Drunk Driving Accident on Loop 375 in El Paso, TX
El Paso, TX — January 5, 2024, a 17-year-old was killed following an alleged drunk driver accident which happened early Friday along Loop 375.
Preliminary statements on the crash indicate that the driver accused of causing the crash while intoxicated was an 18-year-old. The incident happened in the area of Loop 375 East and Fonseca Drive, near the Ascarate Golf Course.
According to officials, a 17-year-old girl was outside of her disabled vehicle along the emergency lane of Loop 375. While waiting there, police say an 18-year-old crashed into a truck, pushing the vehicle onto the emergency lane where it struck and killed the 17-year-old.
Following the accident, authorities said that the 18-year-old left the scene but was later found. That driver currently faces charges for intoxication manslaughter and collision involving death. No further charges are reported at this time.
This story reminds me a lot of a similar crash a few years ago out of Harris County which resulted not only in authorities charging an allegedly drunk teen driver but also a store clerk who sold alcohol to the teen. Are authorities taking similar steps here to find out where the alleged alcohol came from?
What happened in that accident was an allegedly drunk 17-year-old crashed, and two other teens died as a result. Harris County authorities were able to work alongside the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to track down, identify, and arrest the store clerk they say sold the alcohol to the teen. This is something Harris County does quite often, as there are multiple avenues through which negligent alcohol providers can be held accountable for contributing to deadly wrecks. This can include criminal charges, fines, and even potentially closure of the business entirely.
Unfortunately, Harris County is an outlier in their initiative to see negligent alcohol providers held accountable for their actions. All across the state, cities and counties often prioritize only the drunk drivers without considering there may be a business out there continuing to put the community in danger because authorities aren't employing all the tools in their toolbox.
In fact, in many of the cases I litigate, it's my firm that brings the identity of the bartender and alcohol establishment to authorities. And even when we hand this information to them on a silver platter, many times the local authorities don't think it's worth their time to pursue charges. The consequence of their indifference is that alcohol providers think their aren't any consequences for their actions and keep doing what they're doing until another family has their lives turned upside down. That doesn't sit right with me.