Four Injured in Crash after Police Chase on Culebra Rd in San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, TX -- April 8, 2022, four people were injured and hospitalized in a crash after a police chase on Culebra Road in West San Antonio.
Authorities say the incident happened around 2:20 a.m. near Culebra and 22nd Street. Preliminary reports indicate a Bexar County Sheriff's deputy spotted a stolen vehicle and attempted to stop it. The driver allegedly sped away instead, leading the deputy on a short chase through a residential neighborhood. The driver eventually pulled onto Culebra but traveled the wrong direction in a lane and crashed into another vehicle head-on.
Two people from each involved vehicle were transported to area hospitals for treatment of unspecified injuries. Charges may be pending for the runaway driver.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Auto Accident on Culebra Road in San Antonio
Given how reports describe the events of this crash it wouldn't surprise me to learn people were ready to throw the book at the runaway driver pretty much immediately. I don't have any specific reason to doubt things happened the way the news depicts, but there's still the broader context of the crash to consider. What was behind the driver's decision to steal the vehicle in the first place?
There are plenty of ways to answer that question and hopefully police will make it a point to find out the correct one. Was the vehicle stolen with the intent of selling it or parting it out somewhere? Was it planned beforehand? Or is it possible the driver in a state of poor judgment just spotted an opportunity for a joyride and took it?
The reason it's important to distinguish the driver's motive is that they may not have been in a proper frame of mind to make good decisions. Just after bars' closing time police generally have to consider the possibility that someone crashed due to being intoxicated. A crash caused by a deliberate car theft and chase might look the same on the outside as one caused by one poor drunken decision (the theft) followed by another (fleeing police), but the two might have different legal implications.
If the driver was impaired that might change the way the crash is handled, as well as all the injured victims' options for recovery. Texas dram shop law says an alcohol vendor may not sell or serve drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer. If they do and that customer causes or suffers injuries while drunk, the business that over-served them may be liable for the damage they did.
So soon after the accident nobody has really established the at-fault driver's motives yet, and I'm not claiming to know alcohol was a factor at all--let alone that a local business provided too much of it. I only bring it up as a possible concern here, and I mention dram shop law because knowing about it could have helped a lot of people who never realized they had such rights after they were hurt by a DWI driver. Right now the important thing is still for investigators to establish the basic facts of the situation. Any further steps may depend on what is learned.