• June 23, 2022

Miguel Jimenez Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on College Street in Canton, TX

UPDATE (June 30, 2022): Sources have identified the victim killed in this accident as Miguel Jimenez.

Canton, TX — April 19, 2022, a 24-year-old man was killed when the vehicle he was riding in crashed on College Street in Van Zandt County.

According to reports the wreck happened around 2:00 a.m. on West College Street near Wateroak Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests a Mercedes-Benz 300 sedan was traveling west on the roadway at alleged high speeds when the driver lost control in a curve. The car exited the road to the right and traveled around 75 feet on the shoulder, then hit trees, a metal fence, and a utility pole.

The car's right-rear passenger was ejected during the crash and suffered fatal injuries. The car's other three occupants reportedly received minor injuries and were transported to a hospital.

Investigators suspected the Mercedes driver, later identified as 23-year-old Jared Hayes, was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Miguel Jimenez Accident in Canton

Authorities believe the crash may have been due to the driver's intoxication. I have no specific reason to doubt that, but as always I want to point out that suspicion isn't the same as proof. In most cases they look for evidence either by drawing blood to test or getting the victim's hospital treatment records. It's unclear whether either was done here, but neither would surprise me.

If evidence confirms their suspicions then some might the only thing left is to charge the driver accordingly. However, there may be more issues to look into. For example, if a local alcohol provider over-served the driver and made him too inebriated to drive, then that business may be responsible for his passenger's fatal injuries under Texas dram shop law.

Miguel Jimenez Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on College Street in Canton, TX

When a licensed alcohol vendor like a bar or restaurant over-serves an obviously intoxicated customer, it breaks the law. It should answer for its actions the same as anyone else. Dram shop claims give people hurt by drunk drivers the right to seek help from any business that got them over-intoxicated. It also teaches those businesses a serious lesson about getting their priorities straight and obeying the law.

Not every DWI crash starts with a dram violation. One may or may not have happened in the Canton crash, and I'm not saying I know of a specific business that should be investigated. If police don't plan to look into it at all, though, maybe an independent investigation could find more answers.

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