• October 14, 2022

Alicia Bustos, Analuisa Mendoza Killed in Randall County, TX Car Accident

Randall County, TX — October 13, 2022, 21-year-olds Alicia Bustos and Analuisa Mendoza died in a head-on collision on Interstate 27 in Randall County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 2:30 a.m. along I-27 north, roughly three miles south of Amarillo. Preliminary investigation suggests 18-year-old Rayna Smith was driving a Ford F-150 pickup south on the roadway, against traffic, when she collided head-on with the victims' northbound Nissan Sentra on the McCormick overpass. After the impact the Nissan spun away and the Ford caught fire.

Nissan driver Bustos and her passenger Mendoza were both pronounced dead at the scene. Smith was transported to an area hospital in serious but stable condition.

Investigators say alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Alicia Bustos, Analuisa Mendoza Accident in Randall County

Any time alcohol comes up as a possible reason for a crash it's concerning, but if the underage wrong-way driver is supposedly the intoxicated party that's even more troubling. If blood tests confirm the suspicions about intoxication, I hope investigators will make it a point to learn where that young woman's alcohol came from. Not only might a local business need to face consequences for serving an underage customer, but they also might be liable for the damage she caused--to both the other victims and herself--under Texas dram shop law.

Alicia Bustos, Analuisa Mendoza Killed in Randall County, TX Car Accident

Dram shop law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for any damages he causes while under the influence. In my experience, any business reckless (or at least inept) enough to serve an 18-year-old is unlikely to draw the line at over-serving her while they're at it. If a bar or other business poured too much for the suspect and she caused and suffered harm while under the influence of alcohol she shouldn't been served in the first place, that establishment may have a duty to make amends for the part it played in the wreck.

Obviously there are ways the suspect might have gotten alcohol aside from buying it directly, but the possibility that a bar broke one or more important laws deserves careful investigation. So will authorities look into what the young driver did before the crash? Not only could that be instrumental in getting some much-needed help for the people affected, but it could also keep a bar or store from further endangering its customers and community.

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