Santiago Gonzalez Injured in Rollover Crash on FM 1854 in Caldwell County, TX
Caldwell County, TX -- May 20, 2022, 73-year-old Santiago Gonzalez was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident on Farm to Market Road 1854 in Caldwell County.
According to reports the incident happened around 8:50 p.m. on FM 1854 near Old Colony Line Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Gonzalez was driving a Ford Econoline van south on the road when he reportedly failed to negotiate a steep right-hand curve. The van shot the curve and drove off the road's southwest corner. It drove into the bar ditch and Gonzalez over-corrected, causing the van to overturn and crash.
Gonzalez suffered serious injuries in the accident. Investigators reported finding items in the van suggesting he was intoxicated but couldn't collect blood samples due to his condition. They noted a plan to subpoena his hospital treatment records as part of a DWI investigation.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Santiago Gonzalez Accident on FM 1854 in Caldwell County
People may think the victim's injuries coupled with whatever charges may be on the other side of his hospital stay (if treatment records show alcohol was a factor) pretty much take care of the "consequences" portion of this accident. However, the law says another party may deserve a share of the responsibility for DWI accidents.
Texas dram shop law says alcohol providers who over-serve an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages he causes--even to himself--while under the influence. This law helps injured victims (including the alleged DWI drivers) seek badly-needed help after a crash. Moreover, it makes sure negligent businesses face consequences for endangering people with reckless over-service.
Not every DWI accident involves a dram violation and most businesses follow the rules, but the ones who don't should be held accountable for what happens when they liquor up a customer and send them on their way.
With all that said, though, impairment is only a theory at this point even if police suspect it. They'll need proof, which is what treatment records are meant to provide. If that's what happened, though, does that mean authorities will trace the alcohol back to its source? Probably not. It often takes independent investigation to ensure negligent businesses are held properly accountable and an injured victim gets the help he needs.