Noe Hernandez-Lopez Killed, Three Injured in Crash after Chase on FM 3130 near Sonora, TX
Sonora, TX -- March 31, 2022, 32-year-old Noe Hernandez-Lopez was killed and three people were injured in a high-speed crash on Farm to Market Road 3130 near Sonora.
Authorities say the incident began around 2:25 a.m. on FM 3130. Preliminary reports indicate Sonora police attempted to stop a Chevy Malibu but the 17-year-old driver allegedly took off at speeds exceeding 100mph and turn off the car's lights. As it traveled east on the roadway the driver lost control in a curve. The car entered the westbound barrow ditch, then crashed through a fence and hit multiple trees.
Hernandez-Lopez and another passenger in the Malibu were ejected in the crash. Hernandez-Lopez suffered fatal injuries; the other passengers and the driver were transported to a San Angelo hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Noe Hernandez-Lopez Accident on FM 3130 near Sonora
Obviously as investigators try to piece together what happened here it will be important to figure out why the driver chose to try and flee from the traffic stop. Some might say they just decided to try their luck, while others might have their own theories.
For instance, a commonly-offered opinion after police chase crashes like this one is that the driver was impaired at the time. That's obviously only one theory of many and all deserve careful consideration, but I have a feeling police will at least consider that possibility. If they find evidence supporting it, the accident may be more complicated than it appears.
What would make that unique is that any business who sold or served alcohol to the young driver might be held legally accountable both for serving it to a minor and for its role in everyone's injuries during the wreck. Texas dram shop law says that if a licensed alcohol vendor sells or serves drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer, and that customer then hurts anyone (including themselves), the alcohol provider may be liable for the part it played in those injuries.
I should follow that by saying not every DWI crash involves a dram shop violation beforehand. No one has even said alcohol was involved, let alone where it came from or who bought it. I just think that while investigators are looking for answers that's another important one to find. If nothing else, there are people deeply affected by this accident who deserve to know the truth of how it happened.