Jonathan Young Killed, 2 Injured in Raymondville, TX, DWI Accident
Raymondville, TX -- May 16, 2019, Jonathan Young was killed and two people were injured after an accident involving an allegedly intoxicated driver.
Investigators with the Texas Department of Public Safety responded to the crash site at around 11:00 p.m. off the corner of Business 77 and FM 490.
In their reports, police said that 19-year-old Young was driving a Chevy Malibu northbound along Business 77. A vehicle struck him from behind by a Chevy Impala, causing his vehicle to swerve into oncoming traffic. There, the car crashed head-on with a Chevy Silverado. His car then ran into the roadside shoulder.
As a result of the collision, Young succumbed to his injuries at the scene of the crash. His 4-year-old son and the driver of the Silverado were both rushed to hospitals with critical injuries.
The driver of the Impala, 26-year-old Dayna Louise Salinas, was taken into custody for charges of intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.
Additional details are still under investigation at this time.
Police were not specific about whether alcohol or drugs are the suspected intoxicant involved here, and determining which is more crucial than some may realize. The criminal consequences are generally the same for both, but civil law offers unique remedies for victims and families affected by drunk drivers.
Many drunk driving crashes happen when a driver has too much to drink at a bar, restaurant, club, or some other establishment, then tries to drive home or to another venue. If the establishment served them while the driver was obviously intoxicated already, that alcohol provider has broken the law. If that driver then gets in an accident which hurts or kills someone, the alcohol provider may be held civilly liable for contributing to that crash through the illegal service of alcohol. This is the basis of Dram Shop Law.
I've litigated more Dram Shop cases than any other firm in the state. A lot of people think these laws are shifting the blame from drunk drivers to bars. That's not the case. Many cases were just like this one: unsuspecting people are seriously hurt or killed while going about their business. The drunk driver in those cases always faced consequences for their actions. But without pursuing a Dram Shop case, the negligent alcohol providers who served those drivers would have gotten away without any consequences, free to count all the money they made off the drinks that contributed to those deadly wrecks.
Again, investigations are still ongoing here, and it remains to be seen whether or not alcohol was involved here. But should investigations show that to be the case, there needs to be an immediate investigation into where that alcohol came from. With a young man dead and another man and a child facing serious injuries, it simply wouldn't be right for a local business who contributed to all that carnage to get off scot-free.
--Grossman Law Offices