• March 14, 2022

Samantha Martinez Killed, Elisa Bengoa Injured in Car Accident in Lubbock, TX

Lubbock, TX -- March 13, 2022, Samantha Martinez was killed and Elisa Bengoa was injured due to an accident where their vehicles collided.

In their initial reports, officials reported that the crash took place at around 3:30 a.m. at the intersection of 34th Street and Quaker Avenue.

According to investigators, 30-year-old Samantha Martinez was in a vehicle that was somehow rear-ended by another vehicle. Authorities identified the other driver as 43-year-old Elisa Bengoa.

Due to the collision, Martinez sustained fatal injuries. Reports said that Bengoa had moderate injuries. In their reports, authorities alleged that Bengoa was intoxicated at the time of the crash, and reports say that authorities charged Bengoa with intoxication manslaughter.

Right now, additional details are unavailable.

Commentary on Samantha Martinez, Elisa Bengoa Car Accident in Lubbock

UPDATE (August 23, 2022): Details continue to come out about this awful event as indictments come in against the allegedly drunk driver. What stood out was reports naming the same establishment as before as well as specifying that the allegedly drunk driver admitted to drinking approximately 10 drinks. Depending on things like the time over which the driver consumed the drinks as well as their size and weight, that could put the average driver around twice the legal limit. That only makes me more concerned if the driver displayed obvious signs of intoxication while being served and if there is still an establishment out there that played a role in this tragic event. Have authorities even bothered looking into these possibilities and getting the victim's loved ones the answers they deserve?

Samantha Martine, Elisa Bengoa Car Accident in Lubbock, TX

UPDATE (March 16, 2022): In recent reports, authorities named a specific Lubbock drinking establishment as the place at which the allegedly intoxicated driver admitted to drinking. I can't say if that's true nor whether that establishment is involved in the accident. However, I did look up the named establishment in the TABC's complaint database. It appears that not long ago, they were investigated for allegations of over-serving customers. There were no violations listed, but those investigations combined with showing up in the news after a fatal crash certainly raises some red flags. As I discuss at length below, it's crucial to look into these factors so the victim's loved ones at least know they're getting the full story. That's especially true when there are people out there who need to be held accountable for their role in a woman losing here life.

ORIGINAL: These are obviously very serious allegations. I certainly can't say if they are true or not. Intoxicated driving is tragically common this early in the morning, but these early reports are not always as accurate as folks may think. It's important we the readers avoid jumping to conclusions, but it's also important to understand what crucial factors need to be under investigation to make sure the families affected by terrible accidents like the one described have all the tools they need going forward. For allegations of intoxicated driving, that can be particularly complex.

One thing these reports don't touch on is if they believe the driver responsible for all of this was drunk or on drugs. The reason this makes a difference is drams shop law. Put simply, dram shop law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person can be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication.

If a bar, for example, recklessly over-serves someone, they're a danger to their customers and their community, and they need to be held accountable. Texas law gives victims and families the ability to do so, both giving them an opportunity to get some much needed help and a way to make sure a negligent alcohol provider faces consequences for their actions.

Like I said, it's not my place to say if that happened here. It's simply that a lot of serious accidents don't get the attention they deserve. Police may charge a driver, but that may be all they do when there is so much more beneath the surface that also needs attention. It remains to be seen what efforts are being made here to get those affected by this crash the help they deserve. It could be that doing so will require more thorough independent investigations.

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