The Texas Department of Public Safety has announced that alcohol was a contributor to a May 4 car crash that killed three Stephen F. Austin students and left another critically injured. The car accident happened at 7:40 p.m. when the Ford Escort carrying the four students pulled onto the shoulder of State Highway 315 in Rusk County and then pulled back onto the road to make a U-turn. An 18-wheeler crashed into the driver's side of the Escort as it pulled off the shoulder.
Police say that the 19-year-old driver of the Escort had been drinking. They are waiting for results of a blood alcohol test, which they expect to receive in two to three weeks.
The driver is in critical condition at Trinity Mother Francis Hospital with a broken leg and a popped vessel in his heart. The three other passengers all died at the scene. The driver has not yet been told about the deaths of his passengers.
The driver may face criminal charges after the Department of Public Safety concludes its investigation. He could also face civil litigation from the families of the victims. Although no reports were made about possible lawsuits in this accident, families who lose loved ones due to another driver's impairment or negligence may be entitled to compensation and could file a claim against the driver. An experienced attorney could help the family decide if a suit is warranted. If so, the attorney could advocate on their behalf for compensation for expenses related to the accident, their loss and their pain and suffering.
Source: ABC 9 KTRE, "DPS: Alcohol involved in wreck that killed 3 SFA students", Leigha Hughes and Donna McCollum, May 06, 2013