• September 27, 2022

Ernesto Sanchez Gomez Killed in Car Accident on Moorefield Rd near Alton, TX

Alton, TX — September 24, 2022, 65-year-old Ernesto Sanchez Gomez died in a crash caused by an alleged DWI driver on Moorefield Road near Alton.

Authorities say the incident happened around midnight Saturday on Moorfield Road, some distance north of town. Preliminary investigation suggests 42-year-old Walter Martinez was driving a Mazda 6 north on the roadway when it collided under unknown circumstances with a GMC Sierra pickup.

Sanchez Gomez, a passenger in the Mazda, suffered fatal injuries in the crash. Martinez and the Sierra's occupants were transported to an area hospital where they were treated and released. Martinez was then transported to county jail on an intoxication manslaughter charge.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Ernesto Sanchez Gomez Accident near Alton

It's always concerning when investigators mention that intoxication may have played a role in a crash. To be clear it's only a theory unless they find specific evidence (like positive blood test results), but looking into that possibility is important for a number of reasons. Obviously it's dangerous for anyone to drive drunk and appropriate consequences should follow if they do, but a local business may also have broken the law by selling or serving too many drinks to the driver.

That's dealt with by dram shop law, which says any business that illegally over-serves its customers may be liable for the damage they cause or suffer while drunk. In the Alton crash, for example, a bar or restaurant that over-served the driver might be obligated by law to make what amends it could to his passenger's family and the occupants of the GMC pickup.

Ernesto Sanchez Gomez Killed in Car Accident on Moorefield Rd near Alton, TX

To reiterate, police think alcohol may have been involved here but they don't know for sure. I don't bring up dram shop law because I know a bar broke the law, but rather because too many people who could have used its help never knew about it at all. Knowing if a dram violation happened here would take further careful investigation, and it's unlikely police will carry things on to that degree after the blood tests come back. People hurt in DWI crashes caused by negligent over-service often need the help of independent investigators to prove it. Will those steps be needed here?

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