• August 02, 2021

UPDATE: Pedestrian Juan Gallardo Struck Twice, Killed on Castroville Road in San Antonio, TX

UPDATE (August 20, 2021): Investigators have identified the driver of the Fiat vehicle that struck Juan Gallardo as 71-year-old Maria Teresa Gonzales. The identity of the Mazda's driver was not disclosed, but reports indicate they were charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and DWI after being evaluated at the scene.

UPDATE (August 4, 2021): Authorities have identified the victim of this accident as 50-year-old Juan Gallardo Junior.

San Antonio, TX -- August 2, 2021, a pedestrian suffered fatal injuries after being hit by two vehicles on Castroville Road in West Side San Antonio.

Authorities say the incident happened around 4:30 a.m. on Castroville near SW 24th Street. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was crossing Castroville on foot outside a crosswalk when he was hit by a passing Fiat 500 car. The driver pulled over to call 911 when a Mazda 6 also hit the man, pinning him underneath it and dragging him a short distance. Both vehicles remained at the scene after their respective collisions.

Emergency personnel freed the victim from beneath the second car but pronounced him dead at the scene.

Neither driver is expected to face any charges. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Juan Gallardo Auto-Pedestrian Accident on Castroville Rd in San Antonio

UPDATE (August 20, 2021): Later reports by investigators suggest that while the first driver to strike the victim might simply not have seen him or had time to react to him entering the street, the second driver might have had additional issues with reaction time due to some form of impairment. That still needs verification and I'm not judging or making any accusations, but if there's any chance the victim could have survived until a potentially-intoxicated driver hit him a second time in the road then it seems as though appropriate consequences should follow--potentially not just for the suspect, but also for any business that got them too intoxicated to drive safely. If it's confirmed a business over-served that driver it may then be liable for the damage they did under dram shop law.

It seems like right now alcohol is mostly a suspicion and it's unclear what steps were taken to verify it. If it's not a lead police were interested in chasing this may be another situation where a bar gets away with over-service because law enforcement's not interested in punishing that behavior. Proving negligent over-service occurred often requires an independent investigation. Would one be helpful here?

Pedestrian Juan Gallardo Struck Twice, Killed on Castroville Road in San Antonio, TX

ORIGINAL: Folks tend to jump to all kinds of conclusions when it comes to traffic accidents like this. I understand the red flags associated with a pedestrian crossing a busy thruway outside of a crosswalk, since that's obviously a dangerous place to be. I'm just pointing out that so far we're missing a lot of context, and jumping to conclusions won't help anyone.

I don't blame investigators for not yet having every small detail ironed out so soon after the wreck, but that means it's far too soon for anyone to say exactly what happened or why. Reports don't say where exactly the victim was in the roadway, how fast both drivers were going, how well lit that area is, why the victim was on the roadway, where everyone was coming from and where they were going, and many other critical details that develop the narrative far beyond a simple "who hit whom." The law is far more nuanced than many people know, and prudent investigators will strive to identify and consider all the possible variables of this accident. Anyone tempted to simply blame the man for walking into the road shouldn't paint in such broad strokes, and instead wait for more information that can only be obtained with careful and prudent analysis.

One thing troubles me, however: Police departments don't always have the wherewithal, time, or interest to conduct a truly thorough investigation into matters like this. Traffic divisions get the short end of the stick when it comes to resource allocation within the department, which means they can generally investigate a scene just long enough to get the big facts but let the little details slip away unnoticed. Those small details can make all the difference in truly comprehending how something like this could happen, but I have spoken to far too many disappointed families who simply could not believe the story police told them. They deserve to know every effort was made to find the entire truth of the matter, even if the ultimate conclusion is similar to the preliminary one. There's comfort in knowing no stone was left unturned, and I wonder if police will even try to be that thorough here.


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