• June 13, 2022

Katy Trejo Killed in Motorcycle Accident on South I-35 in Austin, TX

UPDATE (June 14, 2022): Police have identified the motorcycle passenger killed in this accident as 32-year-old Katy Trejo.

Austin, TX — June 11, 2022, a motorcycle passenger died after falling off and being hit by two vehicles on South Interstate 35 in Austin.

According to reports the incident happened around 2:20 a.m. along the 3000-3500 block of southbound I-35 near Woodward Street.

Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was riding on a southbound motorcycle. Reports say the operator swerved to avoid a collision with a semi-truck and both people on the motorcycle jumped off. The bike's passenger fell into the roadway and was hit by at least two other vehicles.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The first driver to hit her in the road briefly stopped then reportedly fled the scene while the second driver remained and cooperated with police.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Katy Trejo Accident on I-35 in Austin

Later investigative reports about this accident said police smelled alcohol on the motorcycle operator's breath and he showed "additional signs of intoxication." Police drew blood for testing, and if those tests show the rider was intoxicated as they suspect he may face some stiff consequences for DWI.

That's between him and the state, though. My focus as usual is more about what can be done to help the family of the motorcycle passenger who lost her life.

Katy Trejo Killed in Motorcycle Accident on South I-35 in Austin, TX

Most everyone understands drunk drivers' part in serious accidents, but fewer people think about who provided their drinks. In Texas it's illegal for a licensed alcohol vendor like a bar or club to sell or serve drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer. If they can tell someone has had enough and keep pouring anyway, they may then be legally responsible for any injuries that customer causes or suffers while under the influence. That's a matter of dram shop law, an important but relatively-unknown part of Texas law. Not only does it ensure a negligent business faces consequences, it also helps get folks some much-needed assistance as they try to recover from injuries or loss caused by an impaired driver.

With that said, not every DWI accident involves a dram shop violation. Even if the victim was impaired--which doesn't seem to be confirmed right now--that doesn't mean a business over-served him. Those are just some of the details that must be addressed while trying to fully understand what happened. If a local alcohol vendor had a hand in the damage done, it should be held properly accountable.

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