• January 27, 2022

Cynthia Ayala, Ricardo Martinez Injured in Car Accident on Business Hwy 83 in San Juan, TX

UPDATE (May 3, 2022): Recent reports say that former San Juan police officer Ricardo Martinez was arrested on April 25 on charges of intoxication assault with a vehicle causing serious bodily injuries in relation to this accident.

San Juan, TX -- November 20, 2021, 38-year-old Cynthia Ayala and 28-year-old Ricardo Martinez were injured in a car accident on Business Highway 83 in San Juan.

Authorities say the incident happened around 12:30 a.m. on Business 83 near South Veterans Boulevard. Preliminary investigation suggests Martinez was driving a Ford Fusion east on the highway in the inside lane as 44-year-old Mario Ayala was driving a Chevrolet Suburban west on the other side of the Veterans Boulevard intersection.

Reports indicate Martinez failed to maintain a single lane and drifted left of center through the intersection, then collided head-on with the Suburban in the westbound lanes of the highway.

Martinez and Suburban passenger Cynthia Ayala suffered incapacitating injuries in the collision. Mario Ayala sustained minor injuries and two teens in the Suburban received possible injuries.

Investigators noted a suspicion that Martinez may have been intoxicated at the time and collected blood samples for testing.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Ricardo Martinez and Ayala Family Accident on Business 83 in San Juan

Investigators seem to think the suspect in this crash was intoxicated at the time. Given the way the accident occurred that seems like a reasonable suspicion, but obviously like any theory it needs clear evidence before it could be considered a fact. That's why police took samples for toxicological testing.

Depending on what the test results show, the injured suspect may face some criminal penalties for his choices that night. Some may think that combined with his injuries essentially handles the "consequences" portion of the crash's aftermath, but criminal charges don't do much to help anyone recover from their injuries. However, they may have other avenues available to them to obtain some much-needed help. Anyone affected by an alcohol-related crash should know about dram shop law.

Cynthia Ayala, Ricardo Martinez Injured in Car Accident on Business Hwy 83 in San Juan, TX

Dram shop law basically says that a licensed alcohol vendor who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication. In other words bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and other businesses can often be held legally accountable when they over-serve customers who then cause accidents like the one in San Juan.

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 danger. Despite that, police don't always have the time or resources to chase down the bad bars behind many DWI crashes. People hurt in crashes like this are often better served by working with independent investigators when seeking to hold a negligent business responsible for its role.

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