Olive Hill, KY — Police identified James Richards as the man who died in a single-vehicle car accident in Olive Hill, Kentucky, on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. The accident happened on U.S. 60, near Upper Tygart Elementary School, around 6:15 in the morning.
Police say that the 58-year old Richards lost control of his vehicle, drove over an embankment and into a creek. Emergency workers responding to the accident pronounced the man dead at the scene of the crash.
Officials suspect that Richards had been drinking when the accident occurred. Reports say that he wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
Police are continuing to investigate. No one else was involved in the accident, and no other injuries were reported.
Scene of the Accident
Police believe that the victim had been drinking whenever the accident occurred. That may very well be the case, and given the time of day at which the accident happened, I have to wonder if he was drinking at a bar. I say that because drunk drivers tend to get into accidents on the way home. They don’t usually drink at home and then go out for a ride.
If it’s found that the victim had been at a bar, it’s possible that the bar could be held partially responsible. Kentucky has what are known as dram shop laws. These laws prohibit bars from serving alcohol to customers who are visibly intoxicated. The reason for this should be pretty simple. The more someone drinks, the more likely they are to go out and get into an accident. This is a very real problem. I was once involved in a case in which a woman was drinking at a bar, and was served several drinks past her limit. At the end of the night, she could barely walk. What did the bartender at the bar she was at do? He helped her to her car and sent her on her way. She crashed into a retaining wall a short time later and her car exploded.
In these situations, the driver should definitely be held responsible. But we’ve seen over and over again that bars make just as bad decisions, that can have just as devastating results. If the driver can be held responsible, why can’t the bars also be?
— Grossman Law Offices