• April 25, 2022

Inocente Perez Killed, One Injured in Car Accident on FM 973 in Travis County, TX

UPDATE (May 16, 2022): The person killed in this accident has been identified as Inocente Perez. The other driver involved in the accident was reportedly charged with intoxication manslaughter.

Travis County, TX -- April 24, 2022, one person was killed and another was injured in a two-vehicle accident on Farm to Market Road 973 in southeast Travis County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 6:30 a.m. on the 3500 block of FM 973 near Tesla Road. The cause and circumstances of the crash aren't yet known, but reports say two vehicles crashed in the area and one person was pinned when responders arrived at the scene.

After being extricated the trapped driver was transported to an Austin hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries. The other driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Inocente Perez Accident on FM 973 in Travis County

UPDATE (May 16, 2022): Later reports about this accident state the suspect had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .23 at the time of the collision. I don't say that to judge him or to gossip about the wreck, but confirmation that he was significantly over the legal limit may change how the accident's aftermath should be handled--as well as who exactly should be considered responsible for it.

In Texas and several other states, alcohol-related crashes sometimes involve holding the businesses that over-serve it responsible for the damage their intoxicated patrons cause or suffer. Under dram shop law such a business may have a legal duty to make what amends it can to the victim's loved ones after the Travis County collision.

Some may note that this accident happened early on a Sunday morning and say bars are unlikely to be involved, but years in this business have shown me many instances where Sunday morning is really just an extra-late Saturday night. Being at a .23 at 6:30 a.m. may just mean the suspect was actually at a .27 or .28 a few hours prior and metabolized some of the night's excess before the collision. I don't know that for sure and don't want to speculate; I'm only pointing out that time of day isn't an automatic guarantee or exclusion of a bar's involvement. That's why it's so important to get all the facts of the accident, including whether a negligent alcohol vendor should be held responsible for the part it played.

Unfortunately, bad bars and their dram violations generally get little attention from police. If something like that is suspected then it's usually best to get help from independent investigators who know how to find the necessary proof. Armed with receipts, witness statements, video footage, and other evidence, many people hurt by alcohol vendors' reckless over-service have held them accountable for breaking the law and contributing to their injuries.

Inocente Perez Killed, One Injured in Car Accident on FM 973 in Travis County, TX

ORIGINAL: News reports don't yet have many details on how or why this accident occurred. There are plenty of reasons why two vehicles could collide on a Sunday morning: Some kind of driver mistake like inattention or speeding, failure to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or while leaving a private drive, or potentially even due to the influence of drugs or alcohol. While I'm not saying I know for certain any of those were involved on FM 973, they're among the most common reasons for car accidents and each will probably receive some consideration from police as they try to connect the dots.

However, there are other factors that have to be accounted for as well. For all anyone knows, road hazards or vehicle failures or defects could have been behind the collision. One of the drivers could even have had some kind of incapacitating medical issue and lost control.

My point is mostly that it's anyone's guess right now what happened and that's why it's so important to investigate carefully before any evidence can disappear. Sometimes police delve deeply enough to find that evidence, but in many cases they just write down something "good enough" and then move on. To be sure the people affected by the wreck get real answers it may be best to work with independent investigators who have the time and equipment needed to uncover the truth. A man lost his life here; surely that merits every effort to learn why.

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