• December 16, 2022

Maria Michel Killed, Francisco Esparza Injured in Auto Accident on FM 1343 in Medina County, TX

Medina County, TX — November 29, 2022, Maria Michel died and Francisco Esparza was injured in a crash with a suspected drunk driver in Medina County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 5:10 p.m. on FM 1343 near County Road 563. Preliminary investigation suggests a Ford Explorer was headed south when the driver lost control in a curve and crossed over the center line, then crashed with a northbound Toyota Tacoma. After the impact the Toyota ran off the road and overturned, then rolled several times before coming to rest on its roof.

Toyota passenger Maria Michel, 63, died in the crash. Its driver Francisco Esparza, 60, and the Ford driver, 31, suffered incapacitating injuries. A 2-year-old boy in the Explorer received possible injuries.

Investigators alleged the Ford driver may have been intoxicated and requested a subpoena for her treatment records as part of a DWI investigation.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Maria Michel, Francisco Esparza Accident in Medina County

Police seem to believe the crossover driver on FM 1343 was impaired. Given the way things reportedly happened that seems plausible, and if treatment records confirm it that could have other important implications, but it's best not to ignore other possibilities in the meantime. Anything from poor road conditions to medical emergencies to simple distraction in a bad moment could have been responsible for what happened in Medina County, and everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt unless clear evidence suggests otherwise.

Maria Michel Killed, Francisco Esparza Injured in Medina County, TX Crash on FM 1343

Am I saying police are wrong and alcohol wasn't a factor? Not at all. I wasn't there and I read the same reports as anyone else, so if police say they suspect impairment I don't doubt them. However, suspicion isn't the same as proof so until the latter can say what happened it's best to keep an open mind. The crossover driver was badly injured in this crash too, and it's not right to add the insult of premature conclusions to that. Only time and further investigation could say for certain what occurred, so I hope police--or if not them, independent investigators--will give the matter the time and careful attention it deserves.

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