West Columbia, TX — A man from West Columbia was critically injured a few miles west of the small town this past weekend after a driver collided head-on with his pickup truck. The accident happened just before 5 a.m. on Sunday morning, September 14, and the injured driver was identified as Norberto Sanchez, 34 years old.
Police said that Sanchez was driving his Chevy pickup truck east along FM 1301 last Sunday morning and a Ford SUV was headed west. As they neared County Road 376, the Ford SUV lost control and swerved into Sanchez’ lane, causing a head-on collision.
The wreck killed three young men in the SUV and left Sanchez with some very serious leg injuries. Sanchez was transported to two hospitals, where he was said to be critical condition. At last update, he was taken to a Houston hospital.
Some of the news reports mentioned that alcohol might have been a factor here, but that hasn’t been confirmed. The police are still conducting their investigation.
Scene of the Accident
The news reports aren’t really giving a lot of reasons as to why this accident happened, and hopefully the police will release a little more information in the coming days. I can definitely say that a lot of early-morning accidents typically involve alcohol, but that’s not a reason to start jumping to conclusions. Obviously, there’s no indication that was the issue here.
However, if that was the case, then what does that mean, legally speaking? Simply put, it means that multiple parties might be responsible. Clearly, anyone who drinks and drives is guilty of a crime and will be punished by the law accordingly. But, most people don’t know that those who provide alcohol are also bound by the law. Any place that holds a license to sell alcohol (like a bar or a restaurant) can’t just sell as much alcohol as they wish. They have to do so responsibly, and that means not serving alcohol when it’s obviously dangerous to do so. If someone is obviously drunk at a bar and continues to order drinks, the responsible thing for a bar to do is cut that person off – even call a cab. That driver has put himself in a dangerous position because he might get behind the wheel of a car later that night/morning, and the bar is acting as an accomplice if they continue to serve drinks to him willy-nilly. Both parties would be liable if that driver went out and caused an accident, injuring someone else.
I’ve covered that information not because I think alcohol was a factor in this accident, but because many people simply don’t understand their options when they are injured by a drunk driver. At the end of the day, the law holds everyone accountable for their actions, and that includes a business that thinks it’s okay to sell as much alcohol as you can possibly drink in one sitting.
— Grossman Law Offices