Erick Rodriguez, Brayan Morales Killed in Car Accident on US-83 near Laredo, TX
Laredo, TX -- February 26, 2022, 46-year-old Erick Rodriguez and 25-year-old Brayan Morales were killed in a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 83 near Laredo.
Authorities say the incident occurred around 3:00 a.m. on US-83 near mile marker 732. Preliminary investigation suggests a Volkswagen Beetle was traveling south on the wrong side of the highway when it collided head-on with a northbound Ford Explorer.
Rodriguez and Morales, both in the Explorer, were pronounced dead at the scene. A second passenger in the SUV was transported to a Laredo hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
The Beetle driver was taken to the same hospital with possible injuries; investigators say he showed signs of intoxication. Blood tests later indicated he had a BAC of .084, just over the legal limit.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Erick Rodriguez, Brayan Morales Accident on US-83 near Laredo
Obviously it's a very serious allegation to say a driver was impaired when he caused a crash. If reports have their details straight, there should be consequences for two men losing their lives.
Some may think any criminal charges that follow this incident would handle those consequences, but when I talk to families affected by these situations they don't just want to see some charges filed and the whole matter brushed aside. What they really want is the full story about what happened--and assurance that all those responsible will face justice. Making sure that happens often requires more thorough independent investigations.
Alcohol-related accidents are an example of the need for further scrutiny. If a drunk driver causes a crash, investigators should make it a point to find out where his alcohol came from. Why? Because under Texas dram shop law any business that provided him with too many drinks may be liable for the damage he caused.
Early-morning wrecks like this often happen because someone drank all the way to closing time and then headed home from a local bar or nightclub. If they were over-served there despite being obviously intoxicated, that business may be partly responsible for the injuries their over-intoxicated customer caused and suffered. It's hard to say whether someone with a BAC just a hair over the legal limit would have had clear signs of intoxication, but it's an issue worth further investigation.
As important as that is, though, police don't often look into dram shop violations. Ensuring negligent businesses are held accountable often takes independent investigations to find proof, and that could be the case here as well. At the very least, it's important that the victims' loved ones know they have the whole story.