• February 20, 2017

One Killed, One Hurt in Accident on Westpark Tollway in Houston, TX

Houston, TX -- A crash in the area of Houston, TX took the life of an unidentified victim and left one person with injuries Saturday, February 18, 2017.

The crash happened on Westpark Tollway around 12:45 a.m.

It appears a Ford Mustang was headed east in the westbound lanes when it collided with a pickup. The report claims the driver of the Mustang was killed at the scene of the incident. His identity has not been disclosed, but the report claims he was in his 20's. The driver of the pickup, also unidentified, was hospitalized. They were last listed in serious condition.

The exact cause of the incident has not been determined.

The investigation is currently underway.

map of the area

Commentary

The report provided no information that alcohol was definitely a factor. But, I don't think it takes a genius to see it's a pretty good likelihood. It's the beginning of the weekend, and the accident happened around 12:45 a.m. As some may know, this is close to the time most bars are calling last call, sending patrons on their way home. Another fact that sets off alarm bells? More often than not, when a wrong way driver causes an accident, alcohol is involved.

One such fact that may cause a stir here in my home state of Texas, is the glut of drunk driving accidents in the city of Houston. It's hard to reconcile, but Houston has a comparably high level of drunk driving accidents. A 2015 study conducted by the Texas Department of Transportation shows that there were 2,880 total alcohol related crashes in Harris County. Of these, 104 ended in fatalities. It is inarguable this represents a serious problem here in Texas.

In fact, lawmakers in Austin, Texas found it necessary to pass a law in the hopes of stemming the tide. This act, known as the dram shop law, holds bars accountable for illegally serving drunk drivers that go out on the road and hurt others and themselves. What this law does, in part, is allow victims to maintain a cause of action against irresponsible establishments.

Again, I am not implying I have all the facts in this accident; there's always the possibility that alcohol was not a factor. Honestly, I would be surprised if it wasn't. From all the details in the report, and all I have seen from years of litigating dram shop cases, I would almost bet money that a bar was involved. But, I will have to await the outcome of a more thorough investigation to say for sure.

--Grossman Law Offices

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