• April 28, 2017

Houston, TX: Jose Angel Portillo Killed in Hit-and-Run Accident on Westheimer Road

Houston, TX -- A hit-and-run collision involving a pickup truck and a motorcycle claimed the life of Jose Angel Portillo, 25, Friday, April 28, 2017.

The incident happened on Westheimer Road around 1 a.m.

According to the reports, the westbound pickup truck crossed the center, entered the eastbound lanes, and collided with the motorcycle head-on.

The unidentified driver of the motorcycle was killed at the scene of the incident.

The investigation is currently underway.

map of the area

Commentary

Though the report makes no specific mention of a bar being involved in this crash, you don't need to be Scotland Yard's finest to see the potential connection. The incident took place at 1 a.m., the crash was a head-on collision (which, statistically speaking are more often than not caused by intoxication), and the crash took place in Houston, Texas. Unfortunately, as some may know, Harris County often ranks towards the top of the list with regards to drunk-driving crashes.

So, if an investigation shows the driver of the pickup truck was at a bar prior to the crash, what does this mean for the victim's family? Well, according to Texas liquor liability laws, that bar may be held liable for their hand in this fatal crash.

Dram shop law gives victims of drunk drivers the right to sue bars that play a role in crashes by illegally over-serving the patrons that caused them harm.

This means that pending an investigation, if a bar was involved here, that bar may be considered an "accomplice" for enabling the driver of the pickup truck.

However, in this crash, determining this might prove difficult. Considering the driver had yet to be found by the time of the report, the chance of obtaining a useful blood draw has diminished significantly.

But, difficult does not mean impossible. In fact, experienced independent investigators can track where a person has been through credit and bar receipts, surveillance footage obtained from the establishment that served the driver, and thanks to social media, may track posts indicating the accused driver was at a specific establishment prior to the crash.

All this being said, we will have to await the outcome of a more thorough, independent investigation to determine the driver's whereabouts prior to the crash. Nonetheless, if the investigation determines the driver of the truck was drinking at a bar before the incident, that bar needs to face the consequences of playing a role in this man's tragic death.

--Grossman Law Offices

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