• July 26, 2022

Leonella Gaitan, Raymond Solis Killed; Steven Garcia, Teresa Solis, Misty Monk Injured in Bexar County, TX Crash

Bexar County, TX — June 26, 2022, Leonella Gaitan and Raymond Solis were killed and three people were injured in a fiery early-morning crash in South Bexar County.

According to reports the incident happened around 1:55 a.m. on Loop 1604 West near De Vilbiss Lane. Preliminary investigation suggests 43-year-old Misty Monk was driving a Hyundai Genesis east in the westbound lane of the Loop, against traffic, when she reportedly fell asleep and lost control. The Hyundai crashed head-on with a westbound Ford Edge driven by 39-year-old Steven Garcia Jr. After the impact the Ford spun off the road and caught fire.

Leonella Gaitan and Raymond Solis, passengers in the Ford, were fatally injured in the crash. Steven Garcia, Teresa Solis, and Misty Monk were seriously injured and were take to area hospitals.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Leonella Gaitan, Raymond Solis Accident in Bexar County

I don't want to mince words here: The vast majority of wrong-way accidents--particularly those late at night or very early in the morning--are caused by drunk drivers. That's not the only possible reason for them, of course, and police must look into issues like poor visibility or sightlines, missing or confusing signage, disorientation in an unfamiliar area, or simply falling asleep due to the late hour. However, along with those investigators will likely try to find out whether intoxication was a factor.

Depending on what blood tests or hospital treatment records show about that, there could be legal consequences for the wrong-way driver. However, rather than heaping all the blame on her it's important to realize that someone else may be responsible for the wreck too: A business that over-served alcohol to her.

Leonella Gaitan, Raymond Solis Killed; Steven Garcia, Teresa Solis, Misty Monk Injured in Bexar County, TX Crash

Under Texas dram shop law an alcohol vendor which sells or serves drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer may be liable for any damage their customer causes or suffers while under the influence. that would mean if the Bexar County driver was over-served to the point of passing out at the wheel and driving on the wrong side of the road, whatever business kept refilling her glass may have a legal duty to help everyone affected by this crash--including the customer herself.

Having said that, I want to be crystal clear: right now alcohol is at most one possible theory about how this wreck happened. Reports don't mention it and I am not pointing fingers. However, because many people never know about dram shop claims or how they could help, I try to raise awareness of that part of the law when I see a crash where it might apply. Only time and careful investigation can reveal more clear facts, so let's hope law enforcement invests both in finding the truth.

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