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On the night of Friday, June 5th, a devastating drunk driving accident occurred in Houston that left a 5-year-old girl dead, a 4-year-old girl in critical condition, and a 31-year-old man arrested under felony murder and intoxicated assault charges.

Details On the Incident 

According to local authorities, the accident occurred at approximately 11:30 p.m. on the intersection of Fallbrook and the Beltway 8 feeder road, northwest of Harris County.

Upon arrival, deputies found that a vehicle had driven into a light pole within that intersection. The driver was unable to stay in a single lane, swerving into other lanes multiple times before ultimately striking the pole.

The 5-year-old child was not properly secured in the backseat, and the 4-year-old was wearing an adult seat belt rather than secured into a child seat. Both children were rushed to the nearest hospital. The 5-year-old girl was pronounced dead later on that night, and the 4-year-old girl was left in critical condition but is expected to survive.

Shockingly enough, this was the 2nd reported fatal DWI accident in Harris County that took the life of a minor within a 24-hour time period.

DWI Statistics By The Numbers

While DWI accidents are 100% preventable, they occur far too often. According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018 a total of 10,511 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities across the United States, accounting for 29% of all traffic fatalities across the county.

Within the same report, it was estimated that in that same year, there was a fatality every 50 minutes in the U.S. as a direct result of a drunk driver. Additionally, in a separate study, 17% of children traffic fatalities deaths occurred due to drunk drivers.

A Growing Concern in Harris County

Harris County has led the country in DWI-related fatalities every year for the past 18 years. In fact, out of a total of 940 DUI-related driving fatalities throughout Texas, Harris County alone made up for 121 fatalities in 2018, revealing that it is the county most affected by drunk driving by far.

More food for thought, Houston PD had a total of 15,850 DWI cases in 2019, an increase of 1,717 cases in comparison to the previous year. Out of those incidents, 31 cases resulted in intoxicated manslaughter charges, and 77 cases of intoxication assault.

On a lighter note, as a result of COVID-19 stay-in-home orders, there was a 6-week period where DWI cases plummeted 50% in comparison to the previous year. 

However, as stay-in-home orders expired and state regulations allowing bars and restaurants to re-open, the number of DWI has since then increased and is expected to match or, if not, exceed the rate from 2019.

Houston Car Accident Attorneys Ready to Seek Legal Action Against Drunk Drivers

Drunk driving accidents can be one of the most heartbreaking and aggravating experiences anyone can possibly go through, especially if their life was taken too soon. As traumatic as this situation is, however, know that you have a team of compassionate legal representatives that are on your side.

The Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns are dedicated to serving those families that have been injured or lost a loved one with open arms and will fight tooth-and-nail for the financial relief, emotional recovery, and civil justice they need.

If you have tragically lost a loved one as a result of a drunk driver, contact Lapeze & Johns today.

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Sources: KPRC, ABC13