• September 01, 2022

Abelardo Gutierrez Killed in Rollover Accident on Cougar Ln in McLennan County, TX

McLennan County, TX — August 7, 2022, 23-year-old Abelardo Gutierrez was killed in a single-vehicle accident on Cougar Lane in McLennan County.

According to authorities the incident happened around 3:25 a.m. on Cougar near FM 1637. Preliminary investigation suggests Gutierrez' 21-year-old brother was driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup east on Cougar, allegedly at high speeds and under the influence of alcohol. He drifted off the right side of the road and over-corrected, causing the pickup to side-skid through the road and roll over on its north side.

Gutierrez was fatally injured in the crash. The driver, reportedly unhurt, was suspected by police of being intoxicated and was arrested. Blood samples were collected for testing.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Abelardo Gutierrez Accident in McLennan County

Part of the reason I wanted to write something about this accident is because I fear people may unjustly pile all the blame for what happened on the driver. It's true that drunk driving is a serious hazard all over the state, the country--the world--but even acknowledging that, any accident where someone has to see his brother die is an enormous tragedy. My heart truly goes out to the victim's family after their loss.

What many folks don't realize is that DWI accidents are often more complex than they might seem. As I said some may be tempted just to blame the driver, but the investigators must find out whether he too was a victim. That's why it's important to talk about Texas dram shop law.

Abelardo Gutierrez Killed in Rollover Accident on Cougar Ln in McLennan County, TX

Under dram shop law, licensed alcohol providers who over-serve an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for injuries he causes while under the influence. Put another way, a dram shop claim lets the people hurt by these accidents seek badly needed help. Perhaps just as importantly, it makes sure alcohol-serving businesses face consequences for their reckless and illegal behavior, just as the customers they over-served and turned loose do.

Not every crash like this starts with a dram violation, but the source of the alcohol is an important detail to learn during the investigation. Unfortunately, police often overlook it and focus solely on the drunk driver. If responsibility may fall to more than just that person, victims and families may want to seek proof of that with the help of independent experts. Armed with the evidence they find, many people successfully hold negligent alcohol providers accountable for the terrible damage they helped cause.

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