Jose Sotelo Injured in Auto Accident on Main Street in Grand Prairie, TX
Grand Prairie, TX -- June 19, 2021, 44-year-old Jose Guerrero Sotelo was seriously injured in a traffic accident on Main Street in Grand Prairie.
Authorities say the incident happened around 1:55 a.m. on Main Street (State Highway 180) near 23rd Street. Preliminary investigation suggests Sotelo's Ford F-150 pickup truck and another vehicle of unknown make and model were traveling east on Main in the right and left lanes respectively. A witness later told investigators that the Ford did stay in a single lane and crashed into the other vehicle. Sotelo then reportedly over-corrected and steered off the road to the right, crashing into a lamp post and knocking it over. The other vehicle, said to be dark-colored pickup truck, left the scene without stopping.
Sotelo suffered serious injuries in the crash. Police charged him with DWI.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Jose Sotelo Accident on Main St in Grand Prairie
I generally use this blog as a way to shed light on areas of Texas law folks don't always know about. In fact, get a lot of calls about crashes like this where authorities allege alcohol was a factor, but people tend to think they already know all there is to know about the situation. The driver was arrested and will face a day in court for his alleged choices that night, so what else is there to investigate?
That's when I tell them about Texas dram shop law, which most of them have never heard of. So what is it, and why is it important for people hurt in crashes like this--even if they were the ones suspected of drunk driving?
Texas dram shop law basically says that a licensed alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages that person goes on to suffer or cause while under the influence. For example, if a bar recklessly over-serves someone they may be obligated to help fix any damage their customer causes, be it from a drunken fistfight or a far-more-common DWI crash. By making those businesses take responsibility for what happened, the law ensures they get the message to clean up their act. Moreover, the same laws ensure the victims of the business's recklessness can get help recovering from its aftermath.
I can't say if that applies to the Grand Prairie crash without a more thorough investigation. Not every DWI accident also involves a dram shop claim. However, the fact police allege alcohol was a factor and that someone was hurt is enough to consider it thoroughly. Could it be that a local establishments needs to face consequences for contributing to a serious accident?