Herlinda Salas Killed, Juan Antonio Ramos Injured in Alleged Drunk Driving Accident in Bastrop County, TX
Bastrop County, TX -- January 9, 2021, Herlinda Salas was killed and Juan Antonio Ramos was injured due to an accident allegedly involving drunk driving.
Investigators responded to the crash scene at approximately 10:23 p.m. near Pine Song and Deer Lane.
In their reports, officials said that 44-year-old Juan Antonio Ramos was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee along Pine Song. 37-year-old Herlinda Salas was riding as a passenger. Police say Ramos's Jeep drifted off the side of the road, went through a culvert, hit a pole, then spun into a tree.
Salas was thrown from the vehicle and suffered fatal injuries as a result. Ramos sustained injuries said to be non-incapacitating. Investigators claim that Ramos admitted to drinking prior to the crash, and authorities allege that Ramos was intoxicated at the time of the crash. They charged Ramos with intoxication manslaughter.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Herlinda Salas, Juan Antonio Ramos Alleged Drunk Driving Accident in Bastrop County
I'm a bit shocked to see so little about this in the news considering the absolutely tragic consequences of the crash. This seems to be a testament to the fact that there are tons of accidents allegedly involving alcohol, and we only see the tip of the iceberg. But I don't bring this up to dwell on these allegations specifically. That's not my place. Just as there are countless deadly crashes that go overlooked, there is an important aspect of these crashes that even the authorities tend to overlook, as well. Where did the alleged drunk driver get their alcohol?
After such a serious accident, people often call for there to be consequences. Well, in Texas, alcohol providers can and should be included in that conversation. In short, Dram Shop Laws says bars, restaurants, and similar establishments can be liable when they over-serve drunk drivers who go on to cause serious accidents like this. While this is incredibly important as a way to get victims and families the help they need, there's more to it than that.
I had this case not long ago where a drunk driver on his way home from a bar turned into oncoming traffic, hit a car, and seriously injured a young child. Through our investigations, we found evidence from the bar that the man was stumbling all over the place, barely talking, and otherwise showing with every possible sign that he was dangerously intoxicated. Despite this, the bar poured drink after drink knowing the danger their actions presented to the community. Should businesses like that get to skate off without any consequences while the victims, families, and drunk drivers face all the consequences? Of course not. They, too, need to take responsibility for their role in these crashes.
So, is that something that happened here? Is there a business out there that has yet to answer for contributing to a woman's tragic death? There's no way to say for sure based on these reports, but wouldn't any family involved in such a crash want to know all responsible parties were being held accountable?