Teen Killed, Nathaniel Ruiz, Alexus Jackson Injured in Alleged Hit-and-run Accident in Lubbock, TX
UPDATE (July 13, 2022): Reports show that Timothy Gonzalez has been indicted for intoxication manslaughter in connection with the crash.
Lubbock, TX -- August 19, 2021, a teenager was killed and Nathaniel Ruiz and Alexus Jackson were injured due to an alleged hit-and-run accident.
Authorities reported that the crash took place at around 1:00 a.m. at the intersection of Slide Road and Loop 289.
In their reports, officials said that a Ford F-550 driven by Timothy Andrew Gonzalez crashed into a Jeep Grand Cherokee at the intersection. After the crash, Gonzalez allegedly fled the scene on foot. Authorities later arrested him.
Due to the crash, a 17-year-old in the Jeep sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene. The Jeep driver, 20-year-old Alexus Jackson, sustained moderate injuries. A nearby pedestrian, 21-year-old Nathaniel Ruiz, sustained minor injuries when debris hit him.
At this time, Gonzalez faces charges for intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid. No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Nathaniel Ruiz, Alexus Jackson, Timothy Gonzalez Alleged Hit-and-run Accident in Lubbock
To call this crash devastating simply wouldn't do it justice. Authorities seem to be clear about what caused this crash and who's responsible, and they took steps to see that person will face consequences. After a tragic accident like this, making sure the victims and families get the help they need and see those responsible face the full consequences for their actions is absolutely crucial. To that end, I believe my professional experience can shed light on some important details the authorities may be overlooking here.
Here's why I say that. Charges against a driver are important, but they don't always address all of the factors surrounding a deadly accident. It's important to know all of the events leading up to the crash and the complex and unique laws that can surround them.
For example, authorities charged the truck driver with intoxication manslaughter. If that's because the driver was drunk at the time, where did that alcohol come from? Texas Dram Shop Law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person can be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication. Was this driver on their way home from a bar or some other establishment? Lubbock is no stranger to law-breaking establishments willing to put lives at risk so long as they're pouring drinks. Making sure a complicit negligent business faces consequences for their role in a deadly crash is necessary both for the victims and families and the community as a whole.
But that's not the only thing that stood out here. The truck involved is a rather large truck. This is Texas, and I know a lot of people own big trucks just as their personal vehicles. A lot of trucks like this, however, are used for business. That raises the questions, then: Is this a work truck? If so, is there a company out there that knows a driver capable of driving drunk and running from the scene is operating one of their vehicles? What workers do on their personal time is up to them, but if there are signs that an employee cannot do their job safely or might put the public in danger, the employer has a responsibility to address those issues. That might not apply here, but investigating business affiliations and company history is not usually on the police radar.
I know this is a lot to throw out there, but I take stuff like this very seriously. A kid lost their life here, and there are people out there who deserve all the help and answers they can get. I've litigated hundreds of truck wrecks, and I've litigated hundreds of alcohol-related accidents. The fact of the matter is authorities can be thorough enough to answer all of these questions, but they usually aren't. They're more likely to file their charges and consider the matter closed. Leaving all of these questions unanswered allows for the possibility that there are others besides the allegedly intoxicated driver that contributed to the death of a teenager. Would it really be okay to risk letting those accomplices off the hook?