• March 25, 2022

Fabian Saldana Injured in Single-Vehicle Accident on FM 1854 in Caldwell County, TX

UPDATE (April 26, 2022): Reports have identified the victim of this accident as Fabian Saldana.

Caldwell County, TX -- March 6, 2022, a 41-year-old man was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident on Farm to Market Road 1854 in Caldwell County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 5:40 p.m. on FM 1854 near Coyote Run Road. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck north on the roadway when he reportedly failed to negotiate a left-hand curve. The pickup continued straight as the road curved and hit a tree on the east side.

The driver suffered serious injuries in the crash. He initially refused medical transport but investigators suspected he couldn't make sound decisions about whether he needed treatment due to being under the influence of alcohol.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Fabian Saldana Accident on FM 1854 in Caldwell County

Police seem pretty confident that the injured driver was intoxicated by alcohol at the time of the crash. That would still need clear proof to go from "suspicion" to "fact," but if impairment is confirmed some may think his injuries and any relevant charges will handle the "consequences" portion of the accident. However, the laws about alcohol-related crashes say there may be another party that should face some accountability for the damage done.

Texas takes DWI wrecks very seriously, looking beyond the alleged drunk drivers and also finding out where their alcohol came from. Depending on who sold or served it and under what circumstances, a local business may have violated Texas dram shop law and could face some consequences of its own.

Fabian Saldana Injured in Single-Vehicle Accident on FM 1854 in Caldwell County, TX

In a nutshell, dram shop law prohibits licensed alcohol vendors (bars, clubs, restaurants, liquor and convenience stores, etc) from selling or serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers. When they do so and break the law, those businesses may have an obligation to help anyone hurt as a result--including the customers themselves if they're injured in a crash.

It seems reasonable enough for an alcohol vendor to be held accountable for their role in creating the "drunk" part of drunk driving. Despite that, a lot of establishments pay little mind to the laws forbidding them from over-service, refilling glasses as long as the money holds out. Dram shop law punishes negligent businesses who endanger the public that way while also letting people hurt by that negligence confront the businesses in court.

I'm not saying I know of a particular business that played a part in the Caldwell County accident, and not every DWI crash involves a dram violation. Since intoxication by alcohol seems to be strongly suspected, however, the possibility of such a violation bears looking into. Bars and other alcohol vendors get away with negligent over-service far too often because police don't prioritize that issue, content instead to focus only on the drivers. For everyone's safety dram shop violations must be identified and stopped; if victims and families can get much-needed help in the process, so much the better.

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