• May 01, 2017

Arcadio Duran, Gary Lawson Killed in Hudspeth County, TX, Accident

Hudspeth County, TX -- April 30, 2017, Arcadio Duran Jr. and Gary Lawson were killed following an accident where a bus and a pickup crashed head-on.

Authorities from the Texas Department of Public Safety reported that the accident occurred around midnight early Sunday morning.

About 4 miles west of Dell City, along Highway 62/180, a caravan of charter buses west traveling westbound along the highway. It was carrying a track team from El Paso ISD home from a track meet in Lubbock.

As they traveled, a pickup somehow crossed over into oncoming traffic. Before it could correct itself the pickup crashed head-on into the charter bus.

As a result of the collision, the driver of the pickup. 51-year-old Lawson, as well as Arcadio

Map of the Area

Commentary

I never like to speculate without all of the facts at-hand, but certain details surrounding this accident could lead a reasonable person to believe that alcohol may have been a factor. For one, the hours during which this occurred--between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.--are some of the most dangerous hours in terms of drunk driving, especially on a Friday or Saturday night. Secondly, it's a well known problem that cities in west Texas have much higher drunk driving accidents percentage-wise than their big city counter parts. And last but certainly not least, the vast majority of accidents where someone drives on the wrong side of the road involve alcohol.

Now when a drunk driver causes an accident in these late night/early morning hours, most of the time they're driving home from a bar. The reason this is important is because if a bar over-served the drunk driver, then they need to be brought to answer for such an injustice.

In Texas, liquor liability laws state that a licensed alcohol vendor which over-serves an obviously intoxicated customer can be held liable for for damages resulting from the customer's intoxication. In short, if someone at a bar over-serves their customer, they're breaking the law. End of story. And just like criminal law provides a system for holding drunk drivers accountable, so too does civil law provide a system for holding bars accountable.

And that's exactly what liquor liability laws do. Many people see it as drunk drivers avoiding responsibility for their actions. On the contrary, it's simply a matter of punishing negligent bars for disregarding the law. I'll put it this way: a drunk driving accident leaves people on both sides with loss and grief while the bar that negligently over-served the drunk driver counts the money they made that night and receives no punishment. Does that really sound like justice?

This isn't about blaming one person more than another. This is about holding everyone who contributes to a drunk driving accident responsible for their actions. Those affected by such a tragedy deserve justice, and liquor liability laws is one way the law seeks to accomplish this.

--Grossman Law Offices

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