Mariano Lugo Killed in Hit-and-Run at Southcross and I-35 in San Antonio, TX
UPDATE (August 17, 2022): Please refer to the Commentary section below for more information about this accident.
UPDATE (January 24, 2021): Authorities have identified the person killed in this accident as 30-year-old Mariano "Nano" Lugo.
San Antonio, TX -- January 23, 2022, a motorcyclist was killed in an alleged hit-and-run accident with another vehicle on Southcross Boulevard in San Antonio.
Authorities say the incident happened around 2:00 a.m. at Southcross and the I-35 access road. Preliminary investigation suggests the 30-year-old victim was riding a Suzuki motorcycle west on Southcross when a Honda Accord reportedly ran a red light at the I-35 intersection. The motorcycle collided with the car, ejecting its rider.
The victim suffered critical injuries and was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. Reports indicate the car's occupants fled the scene on foot following the crash and did not attempt to render aid to the victim. Police are searching for the vehicle's driver and charges are expected.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Mariano Lugo Hit-and-Run at Southcross and I-35 in San Antonio
UPDATE (August 17, 2022): Later investigative reports tell something of a different story from the original. Police say the victim was speeding and ran a red light before the crash. Moreover, blood tests allegedly showed he had a BAC of .126 at the time.
None of that excuses the other vehicle's occupants (one of whom later identified the rest) from fleeing the scene after the crash, of course, but if those are the verified facts of the accident that may mean there's more to investigate--including whether a local business may be partly responsible for the damage done.
As I briefly mentioned in my previous remarks, Texas dram shop law holds businesses that over-serve alcohol responsible for the injuries their intoxicated patrons cause or suffer while under the influence. Not every DWI crash starts with a law-breaking bar, but finding out where the drinks came from is an important and often-neglected step when ensuring families get justice for their loss.
I'm not saying I know of a particular business that over-served the victim, but it seems like an important detail to work out in case someone is endangering their customers and community. Unfortunately police rarely look past DWI drivers to where they drank, so if a dram violation is suspected it's usually best to seek help elsewhere. With evidence found by independent experts, many victims and families have held bad businesses properly accountable.
ORIGINAL: Reports say the offending driver left the scene, but police seem to have the car they were in. That's usually a good start for tracking hit-and-run drivers down since it's a key piece of evidence that often leads to an arrest once they follow its paper trail. Aside from the occasional stolen vehicle, the registrant is usually the suspect or at least knows who was driving and where to find them.
Once the suspect is apprehended, police can then see about why they took off after hurting someone. Investigators typically find hit-and-run drivers flee because they want to hide something from law enforcement. That might be drugs, active warrants, or unlicensed driving, among other things. Sometimes the driver is intoxicated and they don't want police to know. When that happens the investigation becomes a little more extensive as a local business might have violated dram shop law.
Before anyone can really know the specific reason the driver ran away, though, police will have to catch them. With the car in their possession, hopefully it's just a matter of time. In the meantime, the best way to ensure this gets resolved is for the community to remain vigilant and police to stay committed to catching the runaway driver. That means sharing any helpful information or developments between them and keeping eyes and ears open. It may take a little time, but I remain confident that if everyone cooperates that justice will be done.