Lorenzo Garcia Jr. Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on Lopez Rd in Willacy County, TX
Willacy County, TX -- March 12, 2022, 27-year-old Lorenzo Garcia Jr. was killed in a single-vehicle rollover accident on Lopez Road in Willacy County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 4:40 p.m. on Lopez Road in Willacy County. Preliminary investigation suggests Garcia was driving a Chevrolet van north on the roadway when he lost control for unknown reasons. The vehicle then entered a side-skid and slid into the west ditch. It then overturned and rolled several times.
Garcia was ejected during the rollover and suffered fatal injuries.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Lorenzo Garcia Jr. Accident on Lopez Rd in Willacy County
UPDATE (June 1, 2022): Later reports say the victim had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .191 at the time of the accident. I don't say that to judge or lecture, but knowing that he was well over the legal limit for intoxication may change how the accident should be addressed going forward.
A lot of people think issues of intoxication begin and end with the person who got drunk, but that's not always true. Depending on certain factors, Texas businesses that serve alcohol may also be responsible for the injuries their customers cause or suffer while under the influence.
Under dram shop law alcohol vendors like bars and restaurants are prohibited from selling or serving drinks to obviously intoxicated customers. It's unclear whether a bar had anything to do with the victim's impairment in the crash above, but the possibility should be carefully investigated.
Unfortunately dram violations get little attention from police. If a bar is suspected of over-service then the people hurt by that are better served by independent investigations. Armed with what independent experts find many folks affected by a bar's negligent over-service have held it accountable for what followed.
ORIGINAL: After a single-vehicle crash like this one I've noticed some folks have a tendency to jump to conclusions about its cause. Based on the comments I read on news sites, they tend to assume the driver was messing with his phone, speeding, or (if they're feeling especially cynical) intoxicated.
Each of those factors probably needs due consideration as a matter of procedure, as all of them quite commonly cause single-vehicle accidents. Impairment would be of particular concern in case a local bar illegally over-served the driver and is responsible for his fatal injuries under dram shop law.
With that said, however, those are far from the only possible explanations for this terrible incident. Are authorities also considering less-likely possibilities? What about mechanical issues in the vehicle? Tire blowouts? Medical emergencies? Road hazards? Other reckless drivers that left the scene? Each of those factors and many others deserve proper care and attention. At worst they just get ruled out, but authorities might also find vital clues that help them better understand what happened.
Put simply, making assumptions isn't going to get injured victims or grieving families the help they deserve. Ensuring there are thorough investigations is a crucial step in making sure all the facts are clear so those affected by the crash know what next steps are best.