Drugged Driving and Distracted Driving Were Factors in Texas Crash that Killed 13
Drugged driving and texting appear to have been factors leading up to a terrible bus wreck last week that claimed the lives of 13 people in Texas.
The accident near San Antonio occurred when a white pickup crashed into a bus carrying seniors. The pickup truck was seen driving erratically shortly before the tragedy.
Disturbing details since emerged about the driver of the pickup. He took a cocktail of prescribed drugs and had marijuana in his vehicle, according to media reports. He may also have been texting before the crash, reported the Daily News.
The report stated the driver admitted to taking two pills of Clonazepam after the wreck on March 29. He is reported to have felt drowsy. He also took the generic forms of the prescription drugs Ambien and Lexapro, My San Antonio reported.
A Texas state trooper reported finding two intact marijuana cigarettes in his truck as well as five partially smoked joints, according to the news outlet.
Witnesses told police in Uvalde, west of San Antonio, the truck was swerving before it hit a group of congregation members from First Baptist Church of New Braunfels who were returning from a three-day retreat.
A report from a Texas Department of Public Safety officer suggested the pickup driver’s driving before the crash pointed to “intoxication by reason of alcohol, a controlled substance, a dangerous drug or a combination.” He could also face manslaughter charges once his phone records are analyzed.
Distracted driving may also have been a factor leading to this fatal crash. The driver is reported to have told a witness he was distracted by his cellphone.
We hear a lot about drunk driving but drugged driving is also a menace on the roads of the United States. Police reportedly recovered 29 Zolpidem pills in a bottle, 30 Escitalopram pills and empty bottles of Clonazepam and Prazosin from the pickup. Clonazepam is a depressant which can mimic the effects of alcohol in the user.
Drugged Driving Is Becoming a More Serious Problem
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse as many as 10 million people drive under the influence of drugs in the United States.
After alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often found in the blood of drivers involved in crashes. As more states legalize marijuana, this problem may become more serious.
Although there are tests for detecting marijuana levels in drivers that gauge the level of delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the role this drug plays in crashes is unclear.
THC can be found in body fluids for days or even weeks after marijuana is taken. The risk posed to drivers appears to be greater when marijuana is combined with other drugs like cocaine or alcohol.
Drugged driving is a serious menace on our roads. While there are strict tests for drunk driving, there are lots of uncertainties concerning the effects of drugs on drivers.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of drugged driving, drunk driving or distracted driving, please call our experienced Virginia car accident injury team at (757) 455-0077.