• October 20, 2022

Jesseca Valdez Killed in Austin, TX Motorcycle Accident on I-35/Ben White Blvd Ramp

UPDATE (November 22, 2022): Sources have identified the victim of this accident as 36-year-old Jesseca Valdez.

Austin, TX — October 20, 2022, a motorcyclist died in a traffic accident on a South Interstate 35 ramp in Austin.

Authorities say the incident happened around 1:15 a.m. on the ramp from northbound I-35 South to eastbound Ben White Boulevard. Preliminary investigation suggests a woman riding a Suzuki motorcycle was headed north on I-35 when she entered the ramp and lost control for unknown reasons. Investigators believe the bike hit the west barrier of the ramp and the driver was ejected off the flyover to the ground below.

The rider was pronounced dead at the scene.

No further information is currently available.

Motorcyclist Killed in Crash on I-35/Ben White Blvd Flyover in Austin, TX

Commentary on Jesseca Valdez Accident in Austin

When it comes to motorcycle wrecks, my concern is always whether or not they're getting the proper attention. Put simply, folks (police sometimes among them) tend to just assume the rider did something wrong due to long-standing biases against "reckless daredevil" riders--no matter what the specifics of a particular crash might end up being.

Another issue I often see when a crash happens late at night, regardless of the vehicle, is people reflexively assuming alcohol was involved. It's true that crashes in the wee hours of the morning often involve impairment, and that may have further implications if a bar over-served the victim, but that should never be taken for granted after any accident. Only further investigation and evidence could say one way or the other.

Neither I nor anyone else can even say what actually happened here yet, let alone who or what might be responsible. The best way to find both of those out--and to ensure no important details slip through the cracks on the way--is to make sure experienced professionals investigate the matter. I often suggest independent experts for that, as police unfortunately don't always have the time or resources to learn the whole story. The victim's loved ones deserve no less.

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