• July 26, 2022

Erik Garcia Killed in Single-Vehicle Crash on Texas Ave in College Station, TX

UPDATE (October 17, 2022): Sources now say that driver Paulina Del Mazo has been charged with manslaughter in connection to the accident that took the life of Erik Garcia. Police allege that Del Mazo consumed several alcoholic beverages prior to the accident.

College Station, TX — July 25, 2022, 20-year-old Erik Garcia was killed and two people were injured in a single-vehicle crash in College Station.

According to authorities the incident happened around 1:10 a.m. along the 800 block of Texas Avenue near Lincoln Avenue. Preliminary investigation suggests that the driver of a Chevrolet Tahoe somehow lost control while driving in the area. The vehicle ran off the road and crashed into a business' marquee sign.

Garcia, a passenger in the Tahoe, was ejected in the crash and suffered fatal injuries. The driver and another passenger were trapped but were awake and alert when responders arrived. After they were freed they were taken to a local hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

Investigators suspected the driver, later identified as 22-year-old Paulina Aguirre Del Mazo, was intoxicated. Blood samples were collected for testing.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Erik Garcia Accident in College Station

I've learned over the years that folks are often happy to just heap all the blame on the driver in a single-vehicle wreck. While many such crashes are caused by operator error, it's unfair to immediately jump to that conclusion before other possible factors are considered. Moreover, even if the driver made a mistake that doesn't necessarily mean they're the only one responsible.

Take intoxication, for example: DWI drivers are certainly dangerous and when they're caught they rightly face stiff punishments for their choices. However, Texas dram shop law says that the businesses who provided their alcohol may also be responsible for the damage they do. If a licensed alcohol vendor sells or serves more drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer and then turns them loose on the road, that business may be liable for any injuries their customer causes or suffers while excessively impaired.

Erik Garcia Killed, Paulina Aguirre Injured in Single-Vehicle Crash on Texas Ave in College Station, TX

I'm not saying I know intoxication was a factor in College Station, but police believed it strongly enough to do bloodwork (and an early-morning single-vehicle crash in a college town does set off a few warning bells). At the very least it seems like something to investigate carefully--and yet, even if they find the driver was drunk police aren't likely to trace the alcohol to its provider. If a dram shop violation may be involved, the victims and their loved ones may need the help of independent experts to hold a bad bar accountable.

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