Joel Hernandez Jr. Killed in Auto-Pedestrian Accident on Sheldon Rd in Harris County, TX
Harris County, TX -- September 5, 2021, 31-year-old Joel Hernandez Jr was killed in auto-pedestrian accident on Sheldon Road in Harris County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 2:55 a.m. on Sheldon Road near Wallisville Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a BMW X3 SUV was traveling south on the 2300 block of the roadway and struck Hernandez, who was walking south with his back to traffic in the same lane.
Hernandez suffered fatal injuries in the collision. Blood tests later showed he had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of approximately .196 at the time of the accident.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Joel Hernandez Jr Accident on Sheldon Rd in Harris County
Reports indicate the victim was intoxicated by alcohol at the time of the accident, which may change the way it should be viewed and handled.
To be clear, I don't mention the victim's state in order to judge him or start in on a sermon about intoxication--nor does his alleged impairment necessarily excuse the person who hit him in the road if they weren't paying attention or could have done something differently. However, knowing that the victim was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident may imply that it led him to act in a way he otherwise wouldn't have. If so, there may be another facet of the collision that needs attention: The source of the victim's alcohol. But why does that matter?
Let me explain with a recent example: I worked on a case not long ago where a car hit and killed a pedestrian on a freeway's on-ramp. While trying to figure out what happened, we learned the victim was there because he became disoriented while trying to walk home from a local bowling alley. We looked into his time there that evening and learned the business recklessly and illegally over-served him alcohol until he could barely walk straight, let alone navigate the roads to his house. In his impaired state he put himself in harm's way, and because of the part it played in his passing the business was liable for his death under dram shop law.
Dram shop investigations could have helped many victims and families not only obtain more answers, but also pursue much-needed help with their recovery. Many bars and other alcohol vendors get away with negligent over-service because the public doesn't know they can even be held accountable for accidents they helped cause. I'm not saying for certain that a local business was involved in Harris County, but it's always an important element to consider when alcohol consumption and injuries may be tied together. At the very least the victim's loved ones deserve to know no stone was left unturned in pursuit of answers.