Joe Martinez Killed in Auto Accident, Clayton Neuhaus Arrested in Weslaco, TX
UPDATE (October 6, 2022): Sources have identified the victim of this accident as 47-year-old Joe Luis Martinez.
Weslaco, TX — September 29, 2022, a 47-year-old man died in a collision with an alleged DWI driver on South International Boulevard in Weslaco.
Authorities say the incident happened around 11:25 p.m. on the 1300 block of South International Blvd. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was driving a Ford Focus out of the parking lot of a Frankie Flav'z restaurant; he started to turn north onto International when the Focus was hit by a Ford pickup driven by 25-year-old Clayton Neuhaus. Police say Neuhaus continued southward until he hit another object and then stopped.
The Focus driver suffered fatal injuries in the crash. No other injuries were reported.
Investigators say there were no signs that Neuhaus tried to stop or avoid the Focus, and that he showed signs of being intoxicated. He was arrested on a potential charge of intoxication manslaughter.
The investigation continues. No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Joe Martinez Accident in Weslaco
If blood tests confirm that the suspect was impaired as police believe, that may mean he'll face some 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, I believe that everyone responsible for the terrible damage done in such accidents should be held accountable for their part. That's why it's important to talk about Texas dram shop law.
Under dram shop law, if a local bar or other alcohol vendor illegally over-served the suspect before the fatal crash then it might be liable for the fatal injuries he caused to the victim. That business would then have a duty to make whatever amends it could to the victim's loved ones for the part it played in their terrible loss.
To be clear, evidence would have to indisputably show the suspect was intoxicated before police theories could be considered facts. However, if it turns out they're right then it'd be best to find out where he drank and how much. Unfortunately, those crucial details rarely get explored by police. 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 people affected will really get the answers and help they deserve.