Fox, Oklahoma — A young man from Ratliff City was killed early this past Saturday morning and another local young man was badly injured when their car was in a head-on accident with a pickup truck. James Boehl, 26, was the man who died and Robert Howard, 20, was his passenger who was badly injured.
The accident in question happened on Saturday morning at about 2:15 a.m., January 24, 2015. The OHP said that James Boehl had been driving his car north along Highway 76 with Howard as his passenger, just about 1 mile north of Fox.
As they were driving along the highway, however, they were hit head-on by 23-year old Chase Jennings’ pickup truck. The accident killed Mr. Boehl immediately while Robert Howard was airlifted to a nearby hospital for critical injuries.
The driver of the truck, however, Chase Jennings, suffered only minor injuries and was treated and released from an Ardmore hospital. Right now, it’s not clear who caused the accident or whether anything else may have contributed to it.
Map of Fox
Given the early morning hour here, I don’t think it’s completely unreasonable to wonder if alcohol was a factor here. If the news reports I’m reading are accurate, then one of the drivers here lost control and swerved into oncoming traffic. That kind of fact pattern, plus the young age of those involved, plus the time of morning when it happened all point towards alcohol being a possible factor.
Legally speaking, that can make a big difference in the way things are handled, but not just because the police might decide to file charges. We all know that civil claims can be filed after an accident to help recoup losses, medical bills, and things like that. What most people don’t realize, though, is that civil liability can sometimes extend to whoever served the alcohol in a drunk driving accident scenario. The State of Oklahoma, and many other states, have very specific laws about how bars can serve their customers alcohol. One of the stipulations of being a licensed provider of alcohol is that bars can’t sell to noticeably intoxicated people. If they do, they’re making themselves partially liable for whatever accident that customer may get into later as a result of their intoxication.
Obviously, drunk drivers commonly hurt other people. When that happens, those injured parties (or their families) have potential claims against not only the driver who hit their loved one, but the bar that served the alcohol to them as well (if they were negligent). Now, I don’t know whether alcohol is a factor here, but now I’ve spelled out how it might affect things, and I hope the information is useful. Like I said, most people don’t know much about this subject.
— Grossman Law Offices