Chelsie Garnello, Syed Hasnain Injured, Son Killed in Auto Accident on FM 2920 in Harris County, TX
UPDATE (January 6, 2023): The injured adult victims of this accident have been identified as 21-year-old Chelsie Garnello and 22-year-old Syed Hasnain.
Spring, TX — January 4, 2023, a 3-year-old boy was fatally injured and his parents were hurt in a crash with an alleged drunk driver on FM 2920 in Spring.
Authorities say the incident happened around 8:00 p.m. on the 5900 block of Farm to Market Road 2920. Preliminary investigation suggests only that the victims were stopped at a red light when 35-year-old Rosendo Gaeta approached in another vehicle, allegedly speeding, and crashed into them. The impact pushed their Kia Forte into the rear of a Toyota Tacoma ahead of them at the light.
A young boy in the struck vehicle suffered fatal injuries in the crash. His parents both sustained unspecified injuries.
Gaeta reportedly fled the scene on foot but was found by police soon afterward. Officers said he showed multiple signs of intoxication when apprehended; he faces several charges including intoxication assault and failure to stop and render aid.
No further information is currently available.
I try to maintain a level head when I blog about Texas DWI accidents like this one, but I must admit this one made me see red. Someone saw fit not only to endanger the public by driving drunk, but when he predictably crashed he caused immeasurable harm to innocent strangers—then ran away. Clearly that won't do.
Fortunately police rounded the suspect up in short order, and I expect he'll have a humbling day in court to answer for his choices. That seems only right, but before anyone decides that's the final step there's another detail that urgently needs attention: Where his alcohol came from.
Some may not see how that's noteworthy, but folks don't always consider that drunk driving often involves more than just the driver. Sometimes they drink at a party or at home, sure, but in many cases they get loaded up at a bar or restaurant and then take to the road. If such a business over-served the suspect in Spring before that terrible accident, it may be partly responsible for the damage he did under Texas dram shop law.
Drunk driving is a plague on Texas roads, and the people who do it deserve stiff punishment. However, so do the places endlessly--and illegally--refilling their glasses. I don't know that a specific Spring business needs a lesson here, but if so that's important to find out. If that effort can also help the people hurt by this accident, that's all the more reason to take the needed steps.