• October 03, 2022

Michael and Esther Garay Injured in Auto Accident on FM 517 in Dickinson, TX

UPDATE (October 25, 2022): Sources have identified two of the injured victims in this accident as 63-year-old Michael Garay, who was driving the overturned vehicle, and his 54-year-old passenger Esther Garay.

Dickinson, TX — September 30, 2022, four people were injured in a crash involving a suspected drunk driver on FM 517 in Dickinson.

Authorities say the incident happened Friday near FM 517 and Gum Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests one driver, believed to be intoxicated, struck another vehicle on the roadway and caused it to overturn into a nearby ditch.

Firefighters extricated three injured people from the overturned car. Two passengers and the suspected DWI driver were transported to area hospitals by ambulance; the driver of the overturned car was airlifted to a Galveston trauma center.

The investigation continues. No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Michael and Esther Garay Accident on FM 517

If police think alcohol use was a factor in this crash their next step is usually to seek clear proof. That generally means either drawing blood for testing or subpoenaing the suspect's hospital treatment records; it's unclear if either of those happened here, but neither would surprise me.

One way or the other, if investigators find clear evidence confirming impairment then some might think the only thing left is to charge the alleged drunk driver. That's important considering the hazards that person clearly posed, but it may not be the final action to take. There could be more to look into--including ways to help everyone hurt in the wreck get back on their feet. For example, if a local alcohol provider over-served the suspect until they couldn't control their car anymore, that business may be responsible for the damage done under Texas dram shop law.

Four Injured in Alleged DWI Accident on FM 517 in Dickinson, TX

Having said all that, alcohol is only a theory unless evidence ultimately shows otherwise. If police don't plan to look much further (including checking for a potential dram shop violation), maybe independent investigators should step in to be sure the whole story is learned and the victims get the help they deserve.

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