Houston Car Accident Lawyer at Smith & Hassler Discusses Responsibility After Fatal Car Accident Claims 3 Lives

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Houston car accident attorney Albert M. Hassler III, of Smith & Hassler, Attorneys at Law, expresses sympathy for families of three people killed in head-on accident on I-290.

Parents, educators, lawmakers and law enforcement need to take action to reduce the number of drunk driving fatalities in Texas. This means talking to young people about the dangers of drunk driving and creating tougher laws and penalties.

Three young people died, including two freshman ROTC cadets from Texas A&M, in a head-on collision on Highway 290 in Houston, Texas, early on March 3, according to KCENTV.com. Hearing news about fatal accidents never gets any easier, said Houston car accident attorney Albert M. Hassler III, of Smith & Hassler, Attorneys at Law.

“Our hearts go out to the families and students grieving the death of these young adults,” said Hassler, a personal injury lawyer in Houston. “Fatal car accidents are among the most difficult cases we deal with at Smith & Hassler. We have seen first-hand how devastating such accidents can be for families, especially when they lose a young member of the family. In an instant, the lives of so many people can change forever, sometimes due to the reckless behavior of other people.”

According to news reports, the wrong-way accident may have been alcohol-related, although the crash remains under investigation. Police said Katie Thomas, 21, was driving the wrong direction on I-290 when she crashed head on into an SUV carrying three freshman University of Corps cadets returning from a drill competition to attend an official event at Texas A&M in the morning, according to Houston Culture Map’s web site on March 4. Thomas died in the accident, along with two, 18-year-old Texas A&M cadets: Amy Pacheco and Miguel Hernandez. Houston Culture Map reported that law enforcement officials noted that Thomas’ vehicle “contained several beer bottles and that investigators believe alcohol was involved in the accident.”

Hassler said alcohol often is a contributing factor in Texas car accidents. “Despite public awareness about the dangers of drunk driving, we still see tragic accidents that would never happen if the driver was sober. While this accident involving the Texas A&M students is under investigation, generally speaking a driver’s decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated is a reckless decision. Drunk drivers and the establishments that serve them must be held accountable. The victims’ families deserve compensation and closure.”

Even with recent decreases in the number of drunk driving accidents in Texas, the state still has the most drunk driving deaths of any state in the country, according to a recent report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety in December. In 2011, a total of 1,213 people died in Texas drunk driving accidents, a decrease of 57 deaths or 4.5 percent compared to 2010, when 1,270 people died statewide in drunk driving accidents, according to the NHTS. Nationwide, the number of drunk driving deaths dropped by 2.5 percent, or 258 people in 2011, when 9,878 people died as opposed to 10,136 people in 2010, the NHTS reports.

“Parents, educators, lawmakers and law enforcement need to take action to reduce the number of drunk driving fatalities in Texas. This means talking to young people about the dangers of drunk driving and creating tougher laws and penalties,” Hassler said. “The dangers of drinking and driving are well documented. There’s no excuse for someone to get behind the wheel of a car after they have had too much to drink. They don’t just put themselves in danger. They put everyone on the road at risk. That’s why we fight so hard for victims of drunk driving accidents. They have already suffered enough. We want to do what we can to make their lives and the lives of their family members easier.”

About Smith & Hassler, Attorneys at Law
Smith & Hassler is a Houston-based personal injury law firm that handles a variety of cases involving negligence, including car accidents, truck accidents, property accidents, workplace accidents and more. Founded in 1989 by copartners Michael Smith and Albert M. Hassler III, Smith & Hassler is committed to helping injury victims obtain the compensation they need to make a meaningful difference in the quality of their lives. Smith & Hassler work on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay nothing if you don’t win. For more information about what to do after a serious or fatal motor vehicle accident and the legal options available to families in Texas, call (877) 777-1529 or complete the online contact form. Smith & Hassler’s office is located at 1445 North Loop West, Suite 700, Houston, Texas 77008.

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