Tragedy occurred in southern Dallas, Texas, at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, September 24, 2017. In the Red Bird area on Ledbetter at Woodhollow, 42-year-old Eric Hall was in an accident in which the Buick he was in was struck broadside by a Dodge Challenger. Hall and the driver of the Buick were both critically injured. Both were transported to a nearby hospital, where Hall died soon after. The people in the Dodge were not seriously injured. According to law enforcement officials, both of the drivers in the two-vehicle accident were allegedly intoxicated when the deadly crash occurred. One of the drivers was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DWI) and the other was charged with intoxication manslaughter. According to witnesses, the driver of the Dodge was allegedly speeding on Ledbetter and crashed broadside into the right passenger side of the Buick.
Driving while intoxicated causes many thousands of deaths every year. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Texas led the country in traffic fatalities in 2015. In addition, Texas leads in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. There were 3,757 traffic fatalities altogether in Texas in 2016. In a highly disturbing trend, traffic injuries and fatalities in the state have increased by more than 20% in the last six years. Prior to 2011, for decades, there were annual decreases in serious traffic collisions in Texas.
Law enforcement officials say that distracted driving, lack of seat belt use, driving while impaired by alcohol, and unsafe speeds are contributing factors in the reverse in trajectory on numbers of crashes and resulting injuries and deaths. The higher speed limits unique to Texas, a growing population, and a healthy economy are also factors that can’t be ignored, officials say.