• January 03, 2023

Nguyen Cao, Valeria Chavez Injured in Auto Accident on I-10 in San Antonio, TX

UPDATE (January 9, 2022): The injured woman in this accident has been identified as Valeria Chavez.

San Antonio, TX — December 4, 2022, 29-year-old Nguyen Cao and a 20-year-old woman were injured in a crash with a suspected DWI driver on I-10 in San Antonio.

Authorities say the incident happened around 3:50 a.m. on I-10 near UTSA Boulevard. Preliminary investigation suggests a Mercury Milan sedan was headed north on the highway when the driver allegedly veered right through two lanes and hit a Toyota Corolla. The impact pushed the Toyota into the outside barrier as the Mercury swerved the other way, passed back through the lanes, and crashed into the median barrier.

The Corolla's passenger was seriously injured in the wreck. Its driver Cao reportedly received minor injuries. The Mercury driver was unhurt and blood samples were collected as part of a DWI investigation.

No further information is currently available.


UPDATE (January 9, 2022): According to investigators the alleged drunk driving suspect told an officer at the scene that he worked as a DJ for a nearby nightclub, and had consumed alcohol on the premises while working.

To be clear, blood test results or other objective evidence are still the most important step to figuring out what happens next for him. Having learned that he supposedly drank at the local nightclub, however, the investigation should also include finding out exactly how much he consumed there--likely through things like receipts and security footage, rather than relying on his word or that of the club's staff.

Why go to the trouble of finding out how he spent his night there? Because as I mentioned before, if he was knowingly over-served by the staff until he was unable to drive safely then that business may have violated dram shop law. If so, it may have a duty to help they people he hit get back on their feet.

I'm not pointing fingers at that club; most businesses follow the rules and far from every DWI crash involves a dram violation. Knowing more about the club's possible role is just an important step to take as part of a full investigation--and to ensure that everyone responsible for the damage done on I-10 is held accountable.

Nguyen Cao, Valeria Chavez Injured in Crash on I-10 in San Antonio, TX

ORIGINAL: If blood tests confirm the suspect was intoxicated as police believe, that may mean he'll have a day in court to answer for his choices that night. Drunk driving is a serious problem on Texas roads and it's only right that the people who do so face consequences for putting people in danger. However, there are other considerations as well after many alcohol-related accidents.

For instance, it's important to find out where the alcohol came from before those wrecks. If a local bar or other alcohol vendor illegally over-served someone before a crash, that business might be partly responsible for the victims' injuries under dram shop law.

To be clear, right now alcohol is only suspected--not proven. I'm not saying otherwise and I'm certainly not pointing fingers at any San Antonio business for illegally enabling a reckless drunk driver. If DWI is confirmed by evidence, however, then the source of the "I" part is an important--but often overlooked--detail. Any business willing to sacrifice public safety for a few more bucks on a tab is in dire need of a harsh lesson, and if that might help two people recover from their injuries that's even more reason to take the needed steps.

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