• January 09, 2024

Juan Zapata Jr. Killed, 1 Injured in Car Accident in Corpus Christi, TX

Corpus Christi, TX — December 7, 2023, Juan Zapata Jr. was killed and one person was injured after a single-vehicle accident around 6:30 p.m. off Prescott Street.

Preliminary details about the accident show that it took place off the corner of the Gollihar Road and Prescott Street intersection.

According to officials, 80-year-old Juan Zapata Jr. was behind the wheel of a Ford F-150 going southbound along Prescott. At the Gollihar T-intersection, the pickup reportedly continued straight, went through a fence, and crashed into a detached garage. The wreckage then caught fire.

Juan Zapata Jr. Killed, 1 Injured in Car Accident in Corpus Christi, TX

Zapata sustained fatal injuries as a result of the accident. It appears a 51-year-old man was in the garage when the vehicle hit it, and that man was struck by the Ford during the accident. That man was said to have moderate injuries.

Now, I'm going to address something here that may upset some people, but I'm doing it for a very important reason. In current public statements from the authorities, it's alleged that Mr. Zapata had a blood-alcohol content over three times the legal limit. I want to be absolutely clear that I don't bring this up to sully the victim's name nor to upset anyone. On the contrary, my concern is if authorities followed up on this detail to find out whether or not the victim was illegally over-served by a local alcohol provider. Let me explain why I say this.

A lot of the calls our firm gets are from families who lost a loved one in a single-vehicle wreck, and it turned out alcohol was involved. Inevitably, I ask them, "Where did your loved one get the alcohol?" Time and time again, that's the first time anyone has asked them that question.

The reason that irks me so much is because a lot of those calls led us to identifying a local bar, restaurant, store, or other establishment that broke the law by selling alcohol to the intoxicated victim and contributed to a deadly crash. Those businesses can face all kinds of penalties for such behavior, including criminal charges for the servers, fines for the business, and even suspension of their liquor license or closure entirely.

But authorities don't often take steps on their own to pursue these potential consequences. There have even been times where our firm dug up plenty of evidence in the course of a wrongful death suit, handed our findings to prosecutors on a silver platter, and they still didn't feel like it was worth their time. Had we not been there taking steps to ensure there were some kind of consequences for those negligent businesses, they simply could have continued putting lives at risk unchecked. Once they're held accountable, though, they typically clean up their act and don't make those mistakes again. This not only holds the establishment accountable but ensures other families don't have to go through the same hardships.

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