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Reckless Driver Kills Motocyclist, Injures Another on Westbound U.S. 80 in Forney Overnight

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(photo credit: inForney.com- Mathew Richards)

via inForney.com: FORNEY, Texas — A reported reckless driver fatally struck a motorcyclist head-on Monday night forcing the closure of westbound U.S. Highway 80.

The crash occurred at approximately 10:40 p.m. on westbound U.S. Highway 80 just prior to the Farm-to-Market (FM) 548 exit ramp.

According to police, at least one motorcyclist was struck by a reported reckless driver who was driving the wrong way on the highway. Another motorcycle was involved in the crash but its unclear if he was also struck by the SUV or crashed in an attempt to avoid a collision.

The two motorcyclists were a father and son, according to a family friend who arrived on scene.

One of the motorcyclists was pronounced deceased on scene. The other was treated by CareFlite EMS.

Just prior to the crash, the Forney Police Department received at least two 911 calls for a reckless driver in the area of FM 548 and Marketplace Boulevard who was reportedly striking curbs and unable to maintain a single lane of traffic.

Partial license plates reported in the reckless driver calls and a vehicle description match that of the SUV involved in the head-on collision.

The driver of the SUV was arrested, taken to Baylor, Scott & White in Forney, Texas, for a blood draw, and later booked into the Forney Police Department jail. Any charges the man may face are unknown at this time.

Westbound U.S. Highway 80 is expected to remain closed until at least 1:30 a.m.

This is a developing story.

– For up to date information, click here to go to inForney.com.

Commentary:

Motorcyclists have the least amount of protection on the road. All motorcyclists know that any accident could be their last. I have seen too many motorcycle accident cases come across my desk. Every single one has been significant injury or death. Fender benders do not exist in the world of motorcycle accidents. Such a tragedy for this family to lose their loved one as a result of reckless and selfish driving.

It seems as though the driver of the SUV was likely intoxicated. There were two reports of a reckless driver just prior to the accident who was “hitting curbs” and “failing to maintain” their lane, then it that same area this driver hits a father and son motorcycle riders head-on? Its likely that our driver here is the same reckless driver hitting curbs and failing to maintain their lane.

That said, we must ask the question “why was the driver being so erradic?” Well, telltale signs of drunkenness are failing to maintain lane and hitting curbs. Another unfortunate sign is striking another vehicle head on. That happens too often with drunk drivers. Another thing to note is that yesterday was Memorial Day. A day for most Americans to grill some burgers and hot dogs and have a couple drinks. Some Americans take it too far and try to drive home drunk. It appears we may have a similar situation here. However, until it comes out this is all speculation. It could be that the driver had a medical emergency or some other type of problem prior to the accident. Until more details are released, this is all conjecture.

What I do know is that if I had the families ear, I would tell them that they need to act quickly on a few things:

  1. Make sure all insurance claims are made: third-party as well as any PIP, UM/UIM claims.
  2. Need to know where the driver was coming from: Was he leaving a friends house? A bar? Restaurant?
  3. Need to know whether or not that driver was under the influence of alcohol or if they have some other defense.
  4. Need copies of the police report and any witness statements.

Number 2 is very important because you will need to know where this driver was coming from to know if there may be any additional liability. For instance, if the driver was intoxicated at a bar and they kept serving the driver after they became intoxicated, then there is the potential liability for the establishment who served the driver. This is because bars and restaurants have a statutory duty to the public not to overserve their patrons to a point where they become a danger to themselves and others when they get on the road. If they do so, then they are liable for actual and proximate damages. Essentially, they’re only liable if what happened was a direct result of the person’s intoxication.

Additionally, number 2 will tell us not only whether the person had been drinking, but who with. Was the driver with other people who may have seen and heard whether they were intoxicated? These types of eye-witnesses are very strong to this particular type of case. Wrongful death actions can end up being highly litigated, and obtaining witness accounts from those who were with the driver at a time just before the accident can be key to proving such an action.

The last thing I would want the family to know is that the insurance company is not your friend. I say this all the time and its become a bit of a catch phrase. However, it is also very true. The insurance company is not your friend. Before you start speaking with them, you need to start speaking with an attorney. Too often families accept settlements from the insurance company that are far less than they should get simply because they don’t know how this all works. They don’t know what to ask for and they allow the insurance company to ask the questions for them. The problem is that the insurance company doesn’t have your best interests at heart. They are a for-profit corporation. The bottom line is the most important thing. You need an attorney to help them see the value of your claim and get you the money your family rightly deserves as a result of your tragic loss.

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