• July 09, 2021

Michael Deleon Killed; Deanna Deleon, Clayton Lindsey, Stacy Anderson, Jody Malone Injured in Uvalde County, TX Crash

Uvalde County, TX -- June 6, 2021, 44-year-old Michael Deleon was killed and four people were seriously injured in a crash on U.S. Highway 83 in Uvalde County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 6:20 p.m. on US-83 near County Road 390 and Happy Hollow. Preliminary investigation suggests 49-year-old Clayton Lindsey was driving a Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck north on US-83 as Michael Deleon was driving a Ford F-150 pickup south in the same area. Lindsey reportedly veered sharply left, entering the southbound lane and collided head-on with the Ford truck. both units came to rest at the point of impact.

Matthew Deleon was fatally injured in the crash. His wife Deanna Deleon, a passenger in the Ford, suffered serious injuries. Clayton Lindsey and passengers Stacy Anderson and Jody Malone also sustained serious injuries in the wreck.

Lindsey admitted to investigators he consumed alcoholic beverages before driving but allegedly refused to provide specimens for testing. A subpoena was requested for his medical records in order to determine his blood-alcohol concentration at the time of the crash.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Michael Deleon and Clayton Lindsey Crash on US-83 in Uvalde County

Given the circumstances of this crash and the driver's confession of drinking beforehand, it seems reasonable that alcohol is considered a possible factor. The hospital records will hopefully offer some insight into exactly how big a contribution it made, but depending on what they reveal he may face some serious legal consequences for his choices that evening. That isn't really something for me to remark upon, as ultimately it'd be between him and the criminal justice system.

Some might consider those charges more or less the end of the matter, but if alcohol really is a major factor then there may be further considerations. Texas law broadens the scope of responsibility for alcohol-related crashes beyond the drivers themselves to sometimes include the businesses that sold them their drinks.

Michael Deleon Killed; Deanna Deleon, Clayton Lindsey, Stacy Anderson, Jody Malone Injured in Uvalde County, TX Crash

Dram shop laws are designed to hold alcohol providers accountable for negligently over-serving their customers. When businesses sell or serve alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers, they may then be liable for any injuries those customers go on to cause or suffer while excessively impaired.

Not every DWI accident involves a dram shop violation. For instance, if the suspect drank at home first or bought alcohol while sober and then drank it on the road, it's not likely that a business could be held liable for all the injuries sustained in that devastating crash. Right now it's too early to tell where the driver was drinking and he doesn't appear to have clarified it for police, but it's a detail that certainly deserves further investigation to know for sure.

So will the authorities find out where the drinks came from? Though it pains me to say this, I doubt it. Police don't invest many resources into dram shop violations, despite how important it is to identify and stop such reckless and illegal behavior. Victims of drunk driving accidents and the families of those unfairly taken by them are often best served by working with independent investigators in the pursuit of the evidence needed to hold such a negligent business responsible.

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