• February 04, 2022

Vanessa Villesca, Bryan Betancourt Killed, Kayla Gutierrez, 1 Injured in Car Accident in Medina County, TX

Medina County, TX -- January 19, 2022, Vanessa Villesca and Bryan Betancourt were killed and Kayla Gutierrez and a passenger were injured after an accident.

Investigators reported that the crash took place at around 3:12 a.m. along I-35 near mile marker 118.

Authorities said that 28-year-old Bryan Betancourt was driving a Chevy Tahoe southbound on I-35 with 29-year-old Vanessa Villesca riding as a passenger. Somehow, the Chevy lost control, careened across the median, and went into northbound lanes. The Chevy then crashed with a Kia Optima driven by 31-year-old Kayla Gutierrez.

Due to the collision, Villesca and Betancourt sustained fatal injuries. Gutierrez and a passenger were injured in the crash. Police believe that Betancourt had been drinking, but additional details are unavailable.

Commentary on Vanessa Villesca, Bryan Betancourt, Kayla Gutierrez Car Accident in Medina County

Authorities seem to believe that alcohol was a factor here. I certainly have no reason to doubt their claims, but I learned long ago to take initial reports with a grain of salt. Investigations could very well show that alcohol had nothing to do with this crash, which is why it's so important to make sure investigators are looking into other possibilities, as well. If alcohol was a factor, though, there could be serious issues to consider that the victims and families need to know about. Primarily, investigators would need to find where that alcohol came from.

Vanessa Villesca, Bryan Betancourt, Kayla Gutierrez, Car Accident Medina County, TX

This is due to dram shop law. The law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person can be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication. For example, if someone is at a bar, and staff serves them beyond the point they're clearly a danger to themselves and others, that bar is breaking the law. So why wouldn't they face consequences when their actions contribute to a deadly crash?

That's what makes dram shop so important. Quite frankly, the authorities don't often give much attention to these terrible accidents beyond simply telling whether or not someone was drunk. But when it comes to finding if there were outside parties who need to take responsibility for the harm they contributed to, it usually takes victims and families having independent investigators look into things. Like I said, dram shop may not even be a factor here. It's simply important that folks understand these possible factors so they can take steps to get whatever answers and help Texas law gives them the right to pursue.

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