• June 21, 2022

Dianna Sobala Injured in Hit-and-Run on Sagetrail Drive in Houston, TX

Houston, TX -- May 15, 2022, Dianna Sobala was struck and injured by an alleged hit-and-run driver on Sagetrail Drive in Harris County.

According to reports the incident happened Sunday on the 11200 block of Sagetrail. Preliminary investigation suggests Sobala and her daughter Ronda Sobala Bland were outside watching a lunar eclipse when driver Mason Chiovaro approached in a Chevrolet Cruze.

Chiovaro reportedly failed to maintain a single lane and struck Dianna Sobala, knocking her out of her wheelchair. Chiovaro fled the scene but Bland took a picture of his car that clearly showed its license plate.

Dianna Sobala suffered serious injuries in the crash. Chiovaro was later located and charged with Failure to Stop and Render Aid.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Dianna Sobala Hit-and-Run in Houston

A common mistake I see after these incidents is thinking reports already say everything there is to know. They say the suspect fled the scene after hurting the victim and he now faces charges after being caught, so what else is there?

For starters, there's the lingering question of why he took off. Some people do it in a clear effort to avoid responsibility, while others might simply panic in the moment. Still others have something they don't want police to know about, like a suspended license or being intoxicated.

Dianna Sobala Injured in Hit-and-Run on Sagetrail Drive in Houston, TX

If the hit-and-run driver fled because he was intoxicated, there might actually be further considerations beyond making sure he's charged appropriately. It could also mean that an alcohol-serving business like a bar or restaurant is partly liable for the victim's injuries under dram shop law. In that case it might have a legal duty to help the victim recover from the damage she was dealt by their over-served customer.

I'm not saying for certain that a bad bar was involved, but did the authorities even look into it? Little as I like saying it, probably not. Law enforcement often sticks to punishing the dangerous drivers that negligent over-service creates. Further independent investigations may be necessary to find out whether a dram shop violation occurred, and if so to find the evidence needed to hold that business accountable.

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