Willam Metzger Sr. Injured in Auto Accident on SH 16 in Atascosa County, TX
Atascosa County, TX — October 21, 2022, 66-year-old William Metzger Sr. was injured in a crash with an alleged DWI driver on State Highway 16 in Atascosa County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 10:50 p.m. on TX-16 at Timbercreek Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests Metzger was a passenger in a Mazda 3 headed south on the highway in the outside lane when it approached the Timbercreek intersection. An eastbound Chevy GMT-400 pickup on Timbercreek allegedly failed to yield and entered the highway in the Mazda's path, causing the two to crash.
Metzger suffered serious injuries in the collision. Both drivers and a teenage passenger in the Mazda reportedly received minor injuries.
Investigators believed the Chevy driver was under the influence of alcohol. Breath tests indicated he had an approximate BAC of .088.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on William Metzger Accident in Atascosa County
Evidently tests showed the suspect in this crash was just a little over the legal limit for intoxication at the time. Some may assume that just means his charges may be intoxication-related, but there could be more to it than that.
Victims of DWI crashes are sometimes able to hold irresponsible bars or other alcohol vendors accountable for the damage their drunk customers do under dram shop law. If a bar sold or served drinks to the customer when he was obviously intoxicated, then the law may hold it accountable for the injuries he dealt on Highway 16.
It's hard to say whether someone just a hair over the legal limit would have shown signs of impairment that everyday folks could pick up on, but bar staff are meant to receive training in how to see them more easily. If they could tell their customer was intoxicated--either by physical signs or just the length of his tab--and sold him more anyway, then they may be responsible for what happened after he left.
It's unlikely any of the staff would cop to knowing their customer was drunk, but no case relies on such an admission. Instead, investigators round up receipts, witness statements, security camera footage, and any other sources of information they can find to determine whether the bar should have cut the customer off--and if so, why it didn't.
Having said all that, I'm not pointing fingers at any specific businesses. Not every DWI crash involves a dram violation beforehand, but it's an important issue to look into any time alcohol consumption may be the cause of someone's injuries. Will police consider that here, or should someone else step in to help?