Joe Ortiz, Ricardo Hernandez Injured in Auto Accident on US-70 in Floyd County, TX
Floyd County, TX — September 9, 2022, 58-year-old Joe Ortiz and 52-year-old Ricardo Hernandez were injured in a crash on U.S. Highway 70 in Floyd County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 6:30 p.m. on US-70 at Farm to Market Road 97. Preliminary investigation suggests Hernandez was driving a GMC Sierra pickup west on the highway when he reportedly failed to yield to Ortiz, who was turning left from eastbound US-70 onto FM 97 in a Chevy Silverado.
The Sierra hit the turning Silverado in its passenger door, sending Ortiz off the road into a nearby bar ditch. The Sierra swerved onto FM 97 nearby and came to rest.
Ortiz and Hernandez both suffered serious injuries in the collision. Police say Hernandez admitted to being intoxicated and consented to a blood draw for testing.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Joe Ortiz, Ricardo Hernandez Accident in Floyd County
If blood tests confirm that the allegedly at-fault driver was impaired (as his reported confession would suggest), that may mean he'll face some legal consequences for his poor choices that evening. Drunk driving is a serious problem on Texas roads and it's only right that the people who do so face repercussions, but before anyone decides that's the end of the matter there may be other things to consider.
For instance, after alcohol-related crashes it's important to find out where the alcohol actually came from. Why? Because a local bar or other alcohol vendor might have illegally over-served the injured suspect before the crash. If so, that business might be liable for the injuries he and the other victim suffered under dram shop law. It would then have a duty to help both men get back on their feet.
Getting people the help they need and deserve is one reason of many why comprehensive investigations are so important. It's also one of the most critical aspects of civil law, which understands that someone can make a mistake and still consider whether he too is the victim of someone else's negligence.
I can't say exactly what role alcohol played in this wreck, but since the driver reportedly admitted to drinking it seems like a good idea to find out where and how much. Unfortunately, police aren't always thorough enough to get those details. If an accident like this isn't followed up on by experienced independent investigators, there's no telling if the whole truth will be uncovered or if the victims will get the help they deserve.