Maricela Moreno-Villegas Killed, 1 Injured in Hit-and-Run on East Park Row Dr in Arlington, TX
UPDATE (December 14, 2022): The second pedestrian injured in this accident has been identified as 49-year-old Lucia Rodriguez.
Arlington, TX — November 20, 2022, Maricela Moreno-Villegas was killed and another woman was injured by a hit-and-run driver on East Park Row Drive in Arlington.
Authorities say the incident happened around 10:15 p.m. on East Park Row at Susan Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests Moreno-Villegas, 67, and another woman were crossing East Park Row in a crosswalk with a walk signal. As they crossed the road a westbound SUV ran its red light and hit them both. The driver sped away from the scene without stopping
Moreno-Villegas and the other woman were rushed to area hospitals. Moreno-Villegas was pronounced dead a short time later.
After finding evidence at the scene police soon identified 22-year-old Jose Martinez as the hit-and-run suspect. Martinez was tracked to his home and arrested on suspicion of intoxication manslaughter, intoxication assault, accident involving death and accident involving serious bodily injury.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Maricela Moreno-Villegas, Lucia Rodriguez Hit-and-Run in Arlington
It appears the suspect in this matter was quickly apprehended, which is a relief. Hopefully serious consequences will follow for the damage his poor choices caused that night, but I hope police won't stop there. If he was intoxicated as they believe, there's still the matter of how and where he got that way. Some may not think the source of his drinks is important, but under Texas dram shop law a DWI driver may not be the only one responsible for the injuries he causes.
Dram shop law says a business that sells or serves alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for any injuries that person causes while intoxicated. If intoxication made the driver in Arlington run the light, hit the victims, and flee, then a local business may be an "accomplice" of sorts to that. That business would then have a duty to make what amends it could to the people their recklessness hurt.
Not every DWI accident involves a dram violation, but the possibility deserves careful consideration. Unfortunately law enforcement rarely invests any resources in ferreting out those law-breaking businesses, content instead to arrest and charge the drunk driver. Because of that many negligent bars and other vendors escape scot-free and keep over-serving their customers. That must be stopped to make roads safer, so I often recommend that victims and families work with independent investigators who know what's needed to hold those bars accountable.