• May 20, 2022

Matthew Mazariegos Injured when Van Hits House on Clinton Ave in Dallas, TX

Dallas, TX -- May 17, 2022, 22-year-old Matthew Mazariegos was injured when a speeding minivan crashed into the house where he was sleeping in Dallas.

Authorities say the incident happened around 3:00 a.m. along Clinton Avenue at 12th Street in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas. Preliminary investigation suggests Matthew Mazariegos was staying at a relative's house while helping with her children. He was sleeping on a couch in the house when a speeding minivan crashed through the wall of the home and hit him, throwing him around 20 feet.

Mazariegos was taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported. The crash damaged the home's foundation and rendered it unsafe to enter.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Matthew Mazariegos Accident on Clinton Ave in Oak Cliff

Reports about this accident paint a very disturbing picture. Obviously it's of great concern that a speeding driver crashed into a house in the wee hours of the morning; quite frankly that kind of crash happens most often when the offending driver is intoxicated. I'm not saying that's a definite factor here and I didn't see it mentioned, but prudent investigators would almost certainly consider that possibility. It's more important to know one way or the other than some might think.

Why should investigators figure out whether the driver was intoxicated? For one because it's important to make sure the right charges (if any) apply, but more than that Texas law says whatever business got them drunk might actually be partly responsible for the damage they did. Under dram shop law a licensed alcohol vendor that sells or serves drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer may be liable for injuries that customer causes while under the influence.

Oak Cliff is home to many bars and restaurants that sling a great deal of alcohol on any given evening. If one of them over-served the minivan's driver before he or she lost control and crashed into a house, it may have a legal responsibility to help the injured victim deal with the costs of his recovery. However, despite how important a dram shop investigation can be for victims struggling to get back on their feet it's rarely a priority for law enforcement. If a business is suspected of a dram shop violation it's often up to victims and their families to prove it themselves. That can be a tall order while they're still dealing with a crash's effects, so I often recommend working with independent investigators to get what they need.

Matthew Mazariegos Injured when Van Hits House on Clinton Ave in Dallas, TX

With all that said, alcohol is only one theory of many for how that van went through that house. For all anyone knows right now the vehicle could have had a brake failure or the driver a heart attack at the wheel, so even though I mentioned dram shop law above I don't know for sure it applies. The area itself apparently has a bad reputation for being a hotbed of crashes, and Dallas officials mentioned possible ways to slow people down and stop similar wrecks in the future. I hope they land on something effective; it's miraculous that a minivan going around 80 miles an hour didn't kill someone, but surely that luck can't hold forever if similar accidents keep happening.

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