Jose Martinez, Alexis Cruz Killed in San Antonio, TX, Accident
San Antonio, TX -- January 28, 2017, Jose Martinez and Alexis Cruz both died as the result of an accident where their vehicle crashed on the highway.
According to authorities from the San Antonio Police Department, the fatal crash occurred around 12:00 p.m. near the intersection of US 90 and Callaghan Road.
Preliminary reports indicate that 24-year-old Martinez and 23-year-old Cruz were traveling westbound on Highway 90 in a Ford Taurus. For reasons that aren't clear, the vehicle swerved to the middle barrier of the highway and crashed into a sign.
The crash inflicted critical injuries to both occupants. Reports say one of them died at the scene while the other victim died one the way to the hospital. It's unclear which victim was which.
Authorities have not yet determined what caused the vehicle to lose control. Their investigations are ongoing.
Map of the Area
Whenever these early police reports come out regarding single-vehicle accidents, I know that there are a lot of people who are going to read them and immediately jump to conclusions. The thing with single-vehicle accidents is that they are commonly caused by driver error--speeding, drunk driving, falling asleep at the wheel, texting, etc. The problem with this is that people tend to apply these kinds of factors to every single-vehicle accident they see despite not knowing for sure what happened. This is unfair to those affected by car accidents, and it only serves to further harm them in an already difficult time.
There are plenty of factors beyond a driver's control which can cause an accident. Tire blowouts, hazardous debris in the road, mechanical failures--these are just a few factors which can cause a car to crash with little to no warning for the driver. A lot of these things are very uncommon or difficult to determine, so preliminary police reports rarely catch them. Because of this, the details released to news outlets tend to be sparse and inconclusive. With these holes in the story, people are want to fill in the blanks with their own assumptions, typically to the detriment of the driver.
Here's an example. Not long ago, GM was the center of a controversy after a mechanical defect was found in some of their vehicles. Basically what happened was the ignition switch in a particular model of their vehicles was faulty, and sometimes the vehicle would simply turn itself off mid-drive. This meant drivers would have no power steering, no braking system, even no airbags as they lost control of their vehicle. This problem directly caused the deaths of roughly 100 people.
Imagine people reading the initial news reports of these accidents. They probably said something along the lines of, "the driver lost control of their vehicle and crashed off-road." Seeing this, people would easily assume the driver was driving recklessly. Only after careful and extensive investigations did the real reason for the accidents appear, and it turned out to be something the driver could never have foreseen or controlled.
This is an extreme example, and this sort of thing is very rare. The point I'm trying to make is not that single-vehicle accidents aren't the driver's fault; my point is that single-vehicle accidents aren't always the driver's fault. Applying general assumptions to car accidents disregards the reality that there are many things which can cause a car crash. Speculating about the cause before all the details come out is irresponsible and disrespectful to those affected.
Perhaps an independent investigation uncovers new details about what happened in the accident, or maybe the investigations reveal the driver was indeed behaving recklessly. The point is that it's impossible to know what happened from a preliminary police report, and people should withhold their judgements until all the details come to light.
--Grossman Law Offices