• January 21, 2022

Marialexis Calderon Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on I-10 East in El Paso, TX

UPDATE (January 25, 2022): The driver killed in this accident has been identified as 21-year-old Marialexis Calderon.

El Paso, TX -- January 21, 2022, one person was killed in a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 10 East in El Paso.

Authorities say the incident happened around 2:30 a.m. on I-10 East at Lee Trevino Drive. Preliminary reports suggest that a Nissan Sentra was traveling east at alleged high speeds and may have been swerving between lanes. Shortly afterward the driver lost control and crashed into a guardrail on the right side of the road. Reports indicate the guardrail broke after the impact and penetrated the car, causing disabling damage and killing the driver.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Marialexis Calderon Accident in El Paso

UPDATE (August 17, 2022): Reports indicate the accident victim had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .251 at the time. I don't say that with any judgment, but evidence that she was more than triple the legal limit may mean there's more to investigate--including whether someone else should be held responsible for the tragic damage done.

What do I mean? Well, Texas dram shop law holds businesses that over-serve alcohol responsible for the injuries their intoxicated patrons cause or suffer. If they keep pouring for someone clearly beyond her limits, the law says they may be responsible for the damage done and would have to make what amends they could to her family. That's why finding out where the drinks came from is a crucial (but too often neglected) step to ensure victims and families get justice.

I'm not saying I know someone over-served the victim, but it seems like an important detail to work out in case a business is endangering its customers and its community. So will the police do anything about that? Probably not. After these crashes they rarely look past the drivers to where they drank, so if a dram violation is suspected it's usually best to seek help elsewhere to prove it. With clear evidence in hand many victims and families have held bad businesses accountable for the terrible damage they helped cause.

Marialexis Calderon Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on I-10 East in El Paso, TX

ORIGINAL: People tend to assume certain things about late-night single-vehicle accidents, blaming the driver for texting or speeding or in many cases driving drunk. Part of that is just statistics as those are all common factors in similar wrecks, and I wouldn't suggest ignoring them here.

However, I say all the time that jumping to conclusions is irresponsible. It doesn't matter what's "common." All that matters is what the evidence shows. What if the victim's car had a mechanical issue? What if water or debris in the road caused it to lose traction? Did a tire blow out? Was another vehicle somehow involved? Is the roadway itself poorly designed or lacking in signage or lighting?

I'm particularly concerned because law enforcement sometimes makes the same hasty conclusions as anyone else whenever they encounter an accident like this one. Many victims have casually been blamed in reports for speeding or drinking when in reality their accidents were entirely out of their hands. That's one of the reasons I'm so adamant about the importance of thorough independent investigations. There's a family out there going through just about the greatest hardship anyone can imagine. They deserve to know, at the very least, that they're getting the full story. If authorities aren't taking steps to bring them that, the crash should be handled by professionals who will.

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