Robert Cline, Ashley Mills Injured in Motorcycle Crash on Gold Dust Drive in San Antonio, TX
UPDATE (April 8, 2022): Later reports identify the injured passenger riding the Harley-Davidson motorcycle as Ashley Mills.
San Antonio, TX -- March 5, 2022, 46-year-old Robert Cline and another person were injured in a traffic collision on Gold Dust Drive in San Antonio.
Authorities say the incident happened around 12:40 a.m. on Gold Dust near Saddlebrook Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests a Cadillac Escalade was traveling west on the 9700 block of Gold Dust when the driver started to make a right turn into a private drive. The driver told police she looked down at her gear shift; when she looked up she was on a direct collision course with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle operated by Cline. Video captured by a nearby residence's camera allegedly showed the Escalade turn wide through the oncoming lane while entering the private drive. At the same time the Harley was swerving around a vehicle parked against the eastbound curb and the two crashed in the eastbound lane.
Cline and a passenger on the Harley suffered serious injuries in the crash. Neither of the Cadillac's occupants were injured.
Witnesses provided statements to police indicating Cline and his passenger were at a bar prior to traveling east on Gold Dust and crashing with the Cadillac. The witness alleged Cline was intoxicated and was supposed to wait for a ride but drove instead. Blood samples were drawn from Cline for testing.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Robert Cline, Ashley Mills Accident in San Antonio
While early reports mention the westbound driver may have been slightly distracted and/or turned wide just before the collision, police also gathered enough information to suspect that alcohol consumption was a factor. I have no specific reason to doubt them, but aside from the word of a third party I have no particular reason to believe them either--at least not until blood tests can say one way or the other.
However, those tests take a while to run. In the meantime are police putting all their eggs in that basket, or are they looking into other possibilities as well? It seems unfair to the victim to reach a premature conclusion and then refuse to budge. What about the vehicle parked along the curb--is that legal along that stretch of road? Should the victim have had to swerve around it like that? Were both moving vehicles' lights on before the collision? Is that area illuminated by streetlights at night? What were weather and road conditions like?
I'm not saying alcohol isn't a possible explanation; people have an unfortunate tendency to operate vehicles while impaired despite its risks, and this could be another example. If that turns out to be the case, things are potentially still more complex than they may seem. In Texas and many other states people hurt in DWI accidents--including the drivers and riders themselves--may have legal recourse against the businesses that sold them alcohol. Under dram shop law an alcohol vendor (bar, nightclub, store, restaurant, etc) that sells or serves drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer may be liable for any injuries that person causes or suffers while under the influence.
Since a bar was specifically mentioned in reports it may be that the victims' time there should be carefully investigated if intoxication is a confirmed factor. Knowing how much they drank and whether the bar's staff should realistically have known better than to keep serving them may be valuable information going forward. Dram shop violations endanger the over-served customers and the public at large and should be stopped for everyone's sake. If injured victims can get some help with their recovery in the process, that's even better.