• August 08, 2022

Ana Guzman de Pena, Jessica Guzman, Child Killed by Wrong-Way Driver in Seagoville, TX

UPDATE (August 23, 2022): Further investigation has revealed more information about this accident.

According to later reports, after the initial crash between Jose Arriaga Contreras' pickup and Ana Guzman's Toyota vehicle a Dodge truck approached behind the Toyota and hit it a second time. The Dodge then drove away from the scene and was found abandoned on the eastbound shoulder in nearby Crandall.

Investigators later identified the Dodge driver as 30-year-old James Gaddis and issued a warrant for his arrest. Gaddis turned himself in the following day.

UPDATE (August 22, 2022): Reports have identified the victims of this accident as 49-year-old Ana Teresa Guzman De Pena, her 23-year-old daughter Jessica Nayeli Pena Guzman, and her 2-year-old granddaughter.

The wrong-way driver, 25-year-old Jose Arriaga Contreras, was arrested on three counts of manslaughter. Reports say the charges may change depending on the results of Arriaga Contreras' blood tests.

Seagoville, TX — August 7, 2022, two adults and a child died in a crash with a wrong-way driver on U.S. Highway 175 in Seagoville.

Authorities say the incident happened around 1:00 a.m. on US-175 near Farm to Market Road 1389. Preliminary investigation suggests a Chevrolet was traveling the wrong direction on the highway when local police caught up to him and tried to pull him over by shining spotlights in his window. Rather than stopping the driver sped up; he entered Seagoville city limits and a short time later he collided with a Toyota sedan.

The Toyota's three occupants were pronounced dead at the scene.

The suspect was taken to a Dallas hospital where blood was drawn for testing during his treatment. Investigators believe he was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Ana Guzman de Pena, Jessica Guzman Accident in Seagoville

Some might think the serious charges set on the wrong-way driver are essentially all the "consequences" anyone should expect. However, while it may provide some moral satisfaction to see a bad actor punished those charges do little to help the family of the people whose lives were taken by his actions. To that end, it's important to consider all aspects of the accident.

For example, police strongly suspect alcohol was a factor. If blood tests confirm that, the wrong-way driver may not be the only one to hold accountable for the damage done on the highway. If a local bar or other alcohol vendor over-served him before his drive, that business may be liable for the victims' fatal injuries under Texas dram shop law. If so, the business would have a legal duty to make whatever amends it could to their families.

Ana Guzman, Jessica Guzman, Child Killed by Wrong-Way Driver in Seagoville, TX

Despite how obviously important it is to stop law-breaking bars from endangering communities, I've learned over the years that police don't look too hard for dram shop violations. If a bar or other vendor may have contributed to the victims' deaths then it's often better to seek proof of that independently with the right allies' help. Armed with the evidence those professionals find, many people hurt by bad alcohol providers have held them accountable for the serious damage they helped cause.

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