UPDATE: Javier Reta-Gonzalez Killed by Alleged Intoxicated Driver on Zarzamora Street in San Antonio, TX
UPDATE, March 7 2019: Authorities have identified the victim in this crash as 48-year-old Javier Reta-Gonzalez.
San Antonio, TX -- On February 2, 2019, a 48-year-old man was struck and killed by allegedly-intoxicated driver Edward Vincent Korslund on a San Antonio street.
According to authorities, Korslund fell asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle at a traffic light at the intersection of Stonewall Avenue and South Zarzamora Street. A witness told investigators that he approached Korslund's car and knocked on his window, at which point Korslund woke up and sped away. He then ran a red light at Zarzamora and Nogalitos Street and crashed. The witness approached again and saw a man lying face down in the street. The unnamed victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Korslund fled on foot but was quickly found and apprehended by officers. Reports say he appeared confused and smelled of marijuana. Police also found marijuana and other narcotics in his vehicle. He refused to consent to a blood draw for toxicological screening, but officers obtained a warrant to do so.
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Based on the news reports about this crash, it seems like Mr. Korslund was under the influence of drugs or other narcotics at the time of the crash. However, the police report about the incident says officers believe alcohol may also have played a role.
That could be a simple error or the police just trying to be thorough despite believing drugs are the culprit, or it could mean that investigators think both alcohol and drugs were involved. But why does it matter either way? The driver will get his day in court regardless, right? It matters because if alcohol was a factor, another party may have contributed to this deadly event.
According to Texas Dram Shop Law, a licensed alcohol vendor that over-serves alcohol to an obviously intoxicated customer may be liable for damages resulting from that person's intoxication. Many drunk driving crashes happen while a driver is on his way home from a bar, restaurant, club, or some other venue that recklessly over-served him. When an alcohol provider does this, they break the law and put lives in danger. The law rightly allows victims and families to hold these negligent businesses accountable when their actions contribute to a devastating crash like this one.
If alcohol use helped cause this wreck, it's imperative that investigators find out where that alcohol came from. It would be unjust for a man to die and another to face prison time, only to have the establishment who contributed to all the chaos escape consequences.