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Intoxication suspected in Texas accident that killed 5 people

Summer is often viewed as a time for celebration and excitement. However, one Texas summertime tradition suffered an abrupt and tragic end this year. After an end-of-season celebration, five people involved with outdoor musical were killed in an auto accident and a sixth person was severely injured. The individuals were part of the theatrical production -- called "Texas" -- that takes place every year at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

According to reports from authorities, the vehicle containing the six individuals turned onto a highway and was subsequently struck by an oncoming semitrailer. The vehicle's driver is believed to have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the fatal collision. Four of those who passed away were members of the musical's cast and one worked in the production's box office.

It's unfortunate that the cast's accomplishments this year will become overshadowed by this drunk driving accident. However, the driver of the vehicle had a responsibility to ensure the safety of the passengers, and choosing to drive while intoxicated could be considered negligence. Ultimately, the driver should've found a safe alternative to getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Even though this particular accident doesn't appear to be the semi truck driver's fault, the family members of the victims may still have the ability to pursue civil claims. Wrongful death claims filed on behalf of those who passed away may be in line.

Of course, nothing can undo the results of this drunk driving crash, but a successful civil claim could help the victims' survivors feel whole again and begin to find a sense of closure. There is no doubt that these losses will continue to be felt for years to come.

Source: CBS News, "5 members of 'Texas' outdoor musical killed in crash," Aug. 13, 2013

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