• August 26, 2021

George Soto and Passengers Injured in Car Accident on I-10 in El Paso, TX

El Paso, TX -- August 1, 2021, a 17-year-old passenger was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 10 in El Paso.

Authorities say the incident happened around 4:00 a.m. on I-10 near exit 19B. Preliminary investigation suggests 18-year-old George Soto was driving a Kia K5 sedan west on the roadway in the far right lane, which was only for taking the exit. He later told investigators he didn't want to take the exit and attempted to change one lane to the left. He took his eyes off the car's trajectory to check his blind spot, then braked hard on looking back and realizing the Kia was headed at a guardrail. The car couldn't stop before colliding with the rail and running partway onto it, then overturned onto the median between the interstate and the exit ramp.

A passenger in the Kia reportedly suffered serious injuries. Soto received minor injuries, while a second passenger sustained possible injuries.

While interviewing Soto about the accident an officer suspected he was intoxicated. He was charged with DWI.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on George Soto Accident on I-10 in El Paso

If blood tests confirm intoxication was a contributing element in this crash, that may change how it's handled somewhat. Texas takes alcohol-related crashes very seriously, to the point of also holding the businesses that sell it responsible for over-serving their customers. Those violations are dealt with by dram shop law.

George Soto and Passengers Injured in Car Accident on I-10 in El Paso, TX

People aren't always aware of this area of the law even though it helps many who face similar situations. In a nutshell, dram shop law prohibits licensed alcohol vendors (bars, restaurants, liquor and convenience stores, etc) from selling or serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers. If they do so illegally and their customers go on to cause or suffer harm while under the influence, that business may be considered liable for those injuries--even when the victims are the drunk drivers themselves.

Not every DWI crash involves a dram shop violation; for instance, if the driver drank at home or a friend's house prior to driving then it's unlikely any business would be liable for the injuries suffered in the wreck. However, the possibility that a business not only over-served a customer but also served someone under 21 certainly bears looking into as any business doing so should be strongly "encouraged" to knock it off. So will authorities look into that possibility here, or should the injured victims work with independent investigators to get results?

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