Alfonso Hernandez Killed by Alleged DWI Driver on FM 1462 in Alvin, TX
Alvin, TX -- January 9, 2022, 51-year-old Alfonso Hernandez was killed in a traffic accident on Farm to Market Road 1462 in Brazoria County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 6:10 p.m. on FM 1462 near Sky Ranch Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests 54-year-old Clayton Ziegler was driving a Chevrolet C2500 pickup truck and 57-year-old Martha Bazaldua was driving a Hyundai Sonata west along FM 1462. The Hyundai reportedly slowed for a vehicle in front of it that stopped for passing traffic before turning left into a private drive. As Bazaldua slowed down, Ziegler approached from behind in the Chevy and rear-ended the Hyundai.
Hernandez suffered critical injuries and was transported to an area hospital where he died a short time later. Bazaldua reportedly received minor injuries and Ziegler was said to be unhurt.
Investigators reported Ziegler showed signs of intoxication and drew blood samples for testing. A potential charge of intoxication manslaughter was recorded in the report.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Alfonso Hernandez Accident on FM 1462 in Alvin
The suspect reportedly faces a very serious charge after this collision, but I don't write this blog to preach about the evils of alcohol or wag fingers at drivers police suspect of intoxication. Their alleged crimes and the related consequences are between them and the courts.
Rather than speculate about that I consider it more important to talk about what can be done for those harmed by the crash, most notably the family of the man whose life was tragically cut short. If intoxication really played a significant part in what happened, then it's important they be made aware of Texas dram shop law.
Dram shop law essentially says that a licensed alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for injuries they cause while under the influence. That means bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and other establishments can be held legally accountable when they keep selling drinks to customers who then cause accidents like this one. Not only does dram shop law help victims and families get back on their feet after such harmful experiences, it's also a way to punish negligent alcohol providers and keep them from putting communities in further danger.
Despite the importance of dram shop law, though, police rarely do much about those violations. Why? Because their priorities generally lie elsewhere and they rarely have the time or resources to hunt down negligent businesses. It's often better to have independent investigators look into that rather than waiting for police to take action.
For the sake of those affected by this crash, the sooner someone looks into everything that led to it the sooner there can be some useful answers. Any further steps would largely depend on what those answers turn out to be.