Two people are dead and another is injured following a wrong-way crash that occurred on the SH-288 toll road on the southside of Houston on Tuesday night. Authorities believe that alcohol may have played a major role in the crash, but an investigation is still underway.
Car Accident Details
The wrong-way collision occurred on the southbound side of the newly opened Highway 288 express tollway. This is the first crash that has happened on the tollway since it opened, and authorities are analyzing video coverage of the scene to determine how the wrong-way driver entered the roadway.
Police report that they began receiving calls about a wrong-way driver on the tollway just minutes before the crash occurred, around 10:30 p.m. Witnesses reported seeing a black Mazda 3 driving the wrong way near the beltway. Police attempted to locate the driver as she continued to drive north in the southbound lane. However, before they could locate her, she collided head-on with a red Honda Accord.
Within a few minutes, the driver of the Honda actually called 911 herself. When police arrived on the scene, the Honda driver was trapped in her vehicle and had suffered a broken leg. After being cut free by police, she was transported to a hospital.
The Mazda was flipped as a result of the crash. The driver of the Mazda, a 21-year-old, and her passenger, age 25, were both pronounced dead at the crash scene.
Authorities suspect alcohol may have played a significant role in the car accident.
Houston’s Role in DUI Car Accidents in Texas
There’s no denying that Texas’ record when it comes to drunk driving is not enviable. In fact, Texas ranks 11th in the country in regards to drunk driving. Unfortunately, alcohol-related car accidents aren’t seeing a decrease as time goes on. However, this alone doesn’t give a clear picture of Texas’ drunk driving problem. Some cities, Houston in particular, play an outsized role in Texas drunk driving car accidents.
In this context, DUI car accidents include all of those in which alcohol use played a role, not necessarily cases in which DUI charges were filed. According to data gathered by the Texas Department of Transportation, Houston County alone accounted for nearly 2,500 DUI crashes in 2019. That’s roughly 14% of all such crashes in the state. To be fair, Houston does make up a large portion of the total population of Texas, around 12%.
As you can see, even with this taken into account, Houston still sees more than its fair share of DUI car accidents. Even more alarmingly, between 2018 and 2019, DUI accidents in Houston increased by 26%. In that same time span, DUI accidents across the state only increased by 3%.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns for help finding a path forward.