Jose Villatoro Killed by Alleged DWI Driver on DNT in Dallas, TX
Dallas, TX -- June 15, 2021, 56-year-old Jose David Villatoro was killed in a crash with an allegedly-intoxicated driver on the Dallas North Tollway.
Authorities say the incident happened around 11:50 p.m. on the DNT near mile marker 555 and Spring Valley Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Villatoro was driving a Ford Explorer SUV north on the tollway and slowed as he approached traffic that backed up in response to nearby road construction. A Toyota Tundra pickup truck approached behind the Ford at highway speeds and failed to slow, crashing into the back of it. The Tundra then swerved right and crashed into a concrete barrier, while Villatoro's SUV was pushed forward and left into the back of a Freightliner M2 crash-attenuator truck at the construction site.
Villatoro suffered critical injuries and was transported to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The Toyota driver was unhurt but was believed to be intoxicated at the time of the crash. He was arrested for Intoxication Manslaughter and samples were collected for testing.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Jose Villatoro Accident on Dallas North Tollway
Police suspect alcohol was a significant factor in this accident. Considering the circumstances of the crash, the possibility seems to merit further consideration. However, as always I must encourage patience and open minds while investigators work; a number of other issues--vehicular failure, a medical issue, road conditions, or even simple carelessness--could still be responsible for the suspect's failure to reduce speed on the tollway.
If alcohol's involvement is proven through testing, however, then it's important to include finding its source in the investigation. Why? Because if an establishment sold or served alcohol to the driver when they were obviously intoxicated, that business may be legally responsible for Mr. Villatoro's tragic passing under dram shop law. Not every DWI crash involves a dram shop violation, but the possibility bears careful investigation any time alcohol use may have contributed to someone's injuries.
Dram shop law grants victims and their families the right to seek assistance with their recovery after these accidents; moreover, it holds reckless businesses accountable when they break the law with over-service. Ultimately a man's life was cut short in Dallas, and everyone responsible for that deserves to face appropriate consequences.