One motorcyclist was killed, another was injured, and the driver of a pickup truck was arrested following a suspected drunk driving accident involving the three vehicles on State Highway 317 in Temple on Friday night.
At around 7:50 p.m., 55-year-old Michael Abel was traveling northbound on the highway on his 2003 Harley Davidson, when 56-year-old Ian Ruston was traveling south on the highway in a Ford pickup truck and tried to make a U-turn. Abel's motorcycle crashed into the pickup truck and then struck a 2016 Harley Davidson being ridden by 54-year-old Vincente Navejas.
Abel was flown to Scott & White Medical Center in Temple and later died from his injuries. Navejas was also rushed to Scott & White with incapacitating injuries.
Ruston was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, as well as a misdemeanor marijuana charge.
Attorney Marc Lenahan helps families affected by drunk driving accidents recover financial compensation for the damages they've suffered. Here are some of his thoughts on the legal options available to drunk driving victims in Texas:
Drunk driving accidents are some of the most common tragedies in the United States, with tens of thousands being killed and injured in these crashes every year. When someone makes the reckless decision to drive drunk and causes an accident that hurts or kills others, it's important for the victims and their families to be aware of their options for legal recourse.
In every state, these victims and families may take legal action against the drunk driver who caused the accident by filing personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. Additionally, New York and many other states have third-party liability laws, known as dram shop and social host liability, which allow victims and families to, in some situations, file lawsuits against alcohol vendors and social hosts for providing alcohol to the drunk driver before the crash.
According to New York's dram shop and social host liability laws, these third parties can be sued by DUI crash victims and their families for providing alcohol to someone who was either visibly intoxicated or under 21 years of age.
For example, imagine John goes to a bar, has several drinks, and begins to stumble and slur his speech. Despite being visibly intoxicated, the bartender continues to serve John drinks. John then leaves the bar in his vehicle and causes a drunk driving accident that injures Bob. In addition to having a case for a personal injury lawsuit against John, Bob also may have grounds for a dram shop lawsuit against the bar that served John.
If you or a loved one has recently been hit by a drunk driver and you'd like to explore your legal options, you can learn more in a free consultation with an experienced DUI victims lawyer.