Paola Garcia Killed in Traffic Accident on Clearwood St in Houston, TX
Houston, TX — December 11, 2022, 26-year-old Paola Garcia died in a traffic accident on Clearwood Street near Hobby Airport in Houston.
Authorities say the incident happened around 12:15 a.m. on the 9000 block of Clearwood near Tavenor Lane. Preliminary investigation suggests 19-year-old Jose Martinez Vasquez was driving a Chevy Silverado north on Clearwood when he he allegedly tried to pass another vehicle at high speeds. Ahead of the two vehicles, Garcia was driving a Toyota Matrix south on Clearwood and started to turn left onto Tavenor. The Chevy crashed into the turning car's passenger side, after which both vehicles left the road and stopped against a fence.
Paola Garcia was fatally injured in the collision. No other injuries were reported. Martinez Vasquez was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Paola Garcia Accident in Houston
Obviously any suggestion of drunk driving is one to take seriously, but it's even more concerning when the alleged DWI suspect is under 21. If clear evidence confirms police suspicions then there are clearly some questions about where that young man's alcohol came from that night; any business that sold it to him directly should answer for that, but if it over-served him as well then it may be liable for the terrible injuries he caused in the wreck on Clearwood.
Under Texas dram shop law an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication. Not only could some bar or store be in trouble for selling drinks to an an underage person, but it could also be legally accountable for the damage he did if his impairment was a major factor in the crash as police suspect.
Is the possibility that a local bar is not just serving but over-serving minors enough reason to find out where the young driver drank? I certainly hope so. A woman's life was cut short by this accident and her loved ones deserve the whole story of how and why—including everyone responsible. I hope authorities took the time and care to make sure their questions were answered.