• December 12, 2022

Jessica Gabrila Killed by Alleged DWI Driver off US-290 in Houston, TX

Houston, TX — December 11, 2022, 39-year-old Jessica Gabrila died in a crash with a suspected drunk driver on the Northwest Highway service road in Houston.

Authorities say the incident happened just before 1:00 a.m. along the US-290 service road at Dacoma Street. Preliminary investigation suggests Gabrila was a rear passenger in a Toyota Camry, which was stopped on the northbound feeder road for a red light at the Dacoma intersection. A Toyota Tundra reportedly approached behind the Camry and rear-ended it.

Jessica Gabrila was pronounced dead at the scene. The car's driver and front passenger sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The Tundra driver, later identified as 43-year-old Amilcar Acosta, remained at the scene. Harris County officials later charged him with Intoxication Manslaughter.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Jessica Gabrila Accident in Houston

Police seem to think the rear-ending driver was under the influence of alcohol. I can't speak to that one way or the other, but if clear evidence proves their suspicions then his serious charges may stick—and rightly so. Important as it is to see he faces consequences, though, he may not be the only one. If alcohol really was a factor and a local business over-served it to the suspect, that business may also be responsible for the terrible damage done in Houston.

Texas dram shop law says that licensed alcohol vendors (bars, clubs, restaurants, stores, etc) may not sell or serve drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer. If they over-serve someone and that customer then hurts himself or others while under the influence, that business liable may be liable for the damage done. In that event it would be expected to make amends to the people hurt by its recklessness.

Jessica Gabrila Killed by Alleged DWI Driver off US-290 in Houston, TX

To be clear, alcohol is only a suspected factor at this point, not a proven one. I mention dram shop law because an alcohol provider's contribution to a DWI is too often overlooked even though the law clearly says it shouldn't be. If a bar or other vendor is endangering its customers and community, that behavior must be stopped as soon as possible before it can hurt anyone else.

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