Sylvia De Garza Killed, Two Injured by Alleged DWI Driver on Trenton Rd in Edinburg, TX
Edinburg, TX -- December 25, 2021, 65-year-old Sylvia Martinez De Garza was killed and two people were injured in a traffic accident on Trenton Road in Edinburg.
Authorities say the incident happened around 2:30 a.m. on Trenton Road near Professional Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests De Garza was driving a Nissan Sentra east in the inside lane of Trenton as 29-year-old Otis Barron Jr. was driving a Nissan Titan pickup truck west nearby on the other side of the road.
Reports indicate Barron veered through the center turn lane and into eastbound traffic, then collided head-on with the Sentra. The impact pushed the sedan into the center turn lane and the Titan spun away a short distance.
Barron reportedly started to drive away from the scene but abandoned his truck in the westbound bike lane a short distance from the impact site. Police located him on foot walking home and observed signs of intoxication. Blood samples were collected for toxicological testing.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Sylvia De Garza Accident on Trenton Rd in Edinburg
Authorities seem to think impairment by alcohol was a factor in this wreck, to the point of taking samples for testing. I have no reason to doubt their assessment, though as always I'd need clear proof before I'm willing to set aside other possibilities. However, if intoxication is confirmed by blood tests as a major contributor to this devastating accident then there may be other issues that need closer scrutiny as well.
One thing that doesn't always get the attention it deserves is learning where a DWI suspect's alcohol came from. Some may not see how that detail is particularly important, but under Texas dram shop law any business that sold or served an excess of alcohol to the allegedly-intoxicated driver might then be responsible for the injuries he caused. In other words a bar, restaurant, club, or store that provided drinks to the at-fault driver--even when they could tell they shouldn't--might then be expected to help anyone he injured while drunk.
Not every DWI crash involves a dram shop violation, and right now it's unknown if any businesses should be held accountable here. The possibility simply needs proper attention any time alcohol consumption and injury may be connected. Will the authorities make the effort to look into it, or would an independent investigation have better results?