Everardo Ledesma Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on Richardson Rd in Edinburg, TX
Edinburg, TX -- December 19, 2021, 23-year-old Everardo Ledesma was killed in a single-vehicle accident on East Richardson Road in Edinburg.
Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 3:00 a.m. on the 3600 block of East Richardson. Preliminary investigation suggests Ledesma was driving a Toyota Camry west on the roadway when he lost control for unknown reasons and crashed into an electrical pole on the road's north side. The vehicle then overturned on its left side.
Ledesma was critically injured in the collision and was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.
Investigators noted detecting strong odors of alcohol and marijuana on Ledesma's person as they extricated him from his vehicle.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Everardo Ledesma Accident on Richardson Rd in Edinburg
UPDATE (February 3, 2022): Later reports about this incident included further details that we have added above. One of those details was that officers smelled alcohol and marijuana on the driver when they rescued him from the overturned car. That led them to suspect that he crashed while intoxicated. Some people may wonder if that's particularly important to know since his passing means he's beyond any legal consequences, but Texas and many other states view alcohol-related wrecks differently. To that end, if intoxication by alcohol contributed to this accident then investigators should find out where the drinks came from.
Why look into that? Because this accident could have further implications under dram shop law. That law prohibits alcohol-selling vendors (bars, clubs, restaurants, stores, etc) from providing further drinks to obviously intoxicated customers. If they continue serving such customers and then those people cause or suffer injuries while drunk, the business may then have a legal duty to help them and their families.
Not every DWI crash involves a dram shop violation, but it's important to find out for sure after such accident in case responsibility extends beyond the driver. Of course, intoxication is only suspected at this point and I'm not pointing any fingers or saying I know more than what's in reports. I bring up dram shop law because it could have proven helpful to many people who never even knew it existed. It's the best way to hold reckless businesses accountable for over-service, yet despite that police rarely look into dram violations. Will they do so here, or is this yet another situation where the victim's loved ones would be better served by independent investigations?
ORIGINAL: After reading the basic details currently available in reports, I suspect some people will reach for the "old standbys" in an effort to explain this accident. The most common explanations for wrecks that happen this way are driver distraction, speeding, or in many cases intoxication. I'm not saying any of those are guaranteed to be involved, and in fact it's important that investigators consider unlikely issues as well. I've just had many car accidents come across my desk where police saw a young driver crashed and assumed they made some kind of mistake at the wheel. It was also mentioned that toxicological tests were run with results pending, so at least one of these possibilities clearly crossed investigators' minds.
As I've said many times, though, jumping to any conclusions without evidence is unfair without first putting in sufficient effort to understand what really happened. More thorough investigations--often requiring the help of independent professionals if police make up their minds and refuse to budge--could show any number of other factors contributed to the crash. For instance, did the Honda have mechanical problems or defective parts? Was the road hazardous in any way, such as being wet or covered in loose debris that affected traction? Could the Honda have blown a tire? Could any other vehicles have been involved but left the scene?
Even if some of those possibilities are unlikely, I hate to think investigators may not have given the young driver the benefit of the doubt. Maybe there's clear evidence beyond the reported details, but it's important to take steps to ensure experienced and thorough professionals look into a fatal accident like this. If nothing else, the victim's grieving loved ones deserve to know they're getting the full story.