• January 28, 2022

Nayeli Rios Injured in Car Accident on US-83 in Rio Grande City, TX

Rio Grande City, TX -- December 18, 2021, 20-year-old Nayeli Rios was injured in a traffic collision on U.S. Highway 83 in Starr County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 4:25 a.m. on US-83 near Midway Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Rios was driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup east in the outside westbound lane of the roadway, against traffic, when she veered to the inside lane and collided with a westbound Ford Explorer. The Ford driver braked to a stop in an effort to avoid the collision but the Chevy struck the Explorer head-on. After the impact the pickup overturned and rolled to the right, landing upright in the median.

Rios suffered serious injuries in the accident. The Ford driver received minor injuries.

Investigators suspected Rios was intoxicated and drew blood for testing. She was arrested on a potential DWI charge.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Nayeli Rios Accident on US-83 in Rio Grande City

UPDATE (February 4, 2022): Later investigative reports indicate the victim had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .192 at the time of the crash. I don't say that to launch into some lecture about drunk driving, but confirming that alcohol was a factor may change how this crash should be addressed.

As I mentioned in my previous comments, alcohol-related crashes sometimes involve holding the businesses that over-serve it responsible for the damage their intoxicated patrons cause or suffer. Under dram shop law such a business may have a legal duty to make what amends it can to the injured victim.

Unfortunately, dram violations receive little attention from police. That's why it's often best for victims and their families to seek help from independent investigators who know what proof to look for and how to get it. Armed with receipts, witness statements, video footage, and other evidence, many people hurt by bad bars have held them accountable for failing to live up to their legal obligations.

Nayeli Rios Injured in Car Accident on US-83 in Rio Grande City, TX

ORIGINAL: The young driver in this crash seems to be suspected of impairment, but I'm not trying to wag a finger at someone police are already working to hold accountable. However, it does bring up at least one further question: Where did her alcohol come from? Unfortunately it's not that hard for underage parties to get their hands on alcohol, but there may be further considerations if it was sold directly to the injured driver by a local business.

Just about anyone would readily agree that a business is likely to face trouble if it sells or serves alcohol to someone under the age of 21. Whether they can't spot a fake ID or they knowingly serve an underage drinker, they may face serious consequences for doing so. Moreover, if they over-serve that customer they may also be civilly liable for any injuries she causes or suffers while under the influence.

Texas dram shop law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be responsible for any injuries that intoxication leads to--even if the person injured is the customer herself. There's no specific indication that a particular business sold the victim her alcohol, but the possibility deserves careful investigation.

Like anyone else I feel it's important that proper consequences follow after damage was done in Rio Grande City. Clearly some of those consequences must be dealt to the young wrong-way driver, but where many might stop there I maintain that everyone who had a hand in the crash should be held accountable. That's especially true if a local business broke the law multiple ways and put several people--and the community at large--in harm's way.

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