Angelica Hernandez Injured in Single-Vehicle Accident on Fulton Street in Houston, TX
Houston, TX -- June 15, 2021, 24-year-old Angelica Hernandez was injured in a single-vehicle accident on Fulton Street in Harris County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 11:30 a.m. on Fulton near Patton Street. Preliminary investigation suggests Hernandez was driving a Nissan Pathfinder north on Fulton when she reportedly failed to maintain a single lane. The Nissan struck the road's right curb and overturned, rolling several times before coming to rest upright.
Hernandez suffered serious injuries in the crash. She admitted to police that she was drinking alcohol before driving that day. Blood samples were collected for testing.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Angelica Hernandez Accident on Fulton St in Houston
Given the circumstances of this crash and the driver's confession of drinking beforehand, it seems reasonable that alcohol is considered a factor. The blood tests should offer some insight into exactly how much of a role it played, but depending on what's learned there may be some legal consequences. That's not my business as it's between her and the justice system.
However, there is another element to the crash that deserves further discussion: 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. 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 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. If the suspect drank at home or bought alcohol while sober and then drank it on the road, it's not likely that a business could be held liable for her injuries. Even if that or something similar is the case, though, it's worth finding out for sure any time alcohol consumption may be a direct factor in a crash.
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, even the drivers themselves, are often best served by working with independent investigators in the pursuit of the evidence needed to hold such a negligent business responsible.