• October 13, 2022

Hannah Mata Injured in Car Accident on I-35 Service Road in Austin, TX

Austin, TX — August 21, 2022, 18-year-old Hannah Mata was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident on the Interstate 35 service road in Austin.

Authorities say the incident happened around 2:55 a.m. on the southbound I-35 service road near William Cannon Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests Mata was driving a Nissan Sentra south in the service road's right-turn lane as 27-year-old Luis Ayala-Sanchez drove a Toyota Corolla south one lane to her left.

Reports indicate Ayala-Sanchez may have drifted right and partially entered Mata's lane, at which point the Nissan made contact with the Corolla's back-right quarter. After the impact the Nissan overturned and rolled into the main lanes of the highway; the Toyota veered through the highway and hit a barrier. Ayala-Sanchez then left the scene.

Mata suffered serious injuries in the wreck. Ayala-Sanchez was suspected of driving while intoxicated but reportedly refused to provide specimens for testing.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Hannah Mata Accident in Austin

If police ultimately find evidence that alcohol really was a factor, the suspect may face some charges for his choices that night. That's important considering the damage he allegedly caused; bad actors should face consequences for their poor decisions. However, that should apply to everyone responsible for the damage done, which is why it's important to know about Texas dram shop law.

Hannah Mata Injured in Car Accident on I-35 Service Road in Austin, TX

Dram shop law broadens the responsibility for DWI wrecks beyond the drivers to sometimes include the businesses that sold or served them drinks. If further investigation found that a licensed alcohol vendor over-served the suspect prior to the Austin crash, that business may be expected to make whatever amends it can to the victim--including giving her some help with the difficult road to recovery.

Not every DWI wreck involves a dram violation, but they're way more common than they should be. If a local business over-served the driver and sent him on his way, it should be held accountable for the role it played in the damage done.

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