• June 02, 2017

Jose Reyes Killed, Yesenia Vasquez Injured in Alleged DUI Accident in Mesquite, TX

Mesquite, TX -- A suspected alcohol-related incident in the area of Mesquite, Texas claimed the life of 42-year-old Jose Reyes and left 43-year-old Yesenia Vasquez with injuries Thursday, May 1, 2017.

According to reports, a 2002 Chevy Avalanche was eastbound on East Glen Boulevard around 10 p.m. when it lost control, colliding with a house near 400 Seminary Ridge. The vehicle struck two occupants within; Jose Reyes and Yesenia Vasquez.

Mr. Reyes was killed at the scene of the incident, while Ms. Vasquez was left hospitalized. Her current condition remains unknown.

The 18-year-old driver of the car, Steven Tutt, may have been intoxicated, according to police officials.

No one in the passenger vehicle was injured in the incident.

The investigation is currently underway.

map of the area

Commentary

This incident, unquestionably, is a huge tragedy. If the details provided by early media reports are true, it's hard to reconcile the actions of the 18-year-old driver. I have no doubt that if the charges leveled against the suspected driver stick, he should have his day in court to face the consequences of his actions. However, considering his age, I can't help but wonder who it was that provided his alcohol.

I know some may read this and assume there's no way a bar or alcohol retailer would serve an underage customer. But, TABC stings have shown a shocking number of liquor establishments serve underage purchasers without impunity.

So, why does this matter? Well, in this case and others of its type, the state views the sale of alcohol to obviously intoxicated individuals as illegal. Dram shop law, as it is known, holds bars and alcohol retailers accountable for disregarding their duty to responsibly serve a potentially harmful product. The law also provides victims and their families the right to sue bars that illegally over-serve patrons that go on to cause harm to their loved ones.

Without a more in-depth investigation, we can't say for sure the suspected driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash. If so, he faces some serious criminal charges. If an investigation reveals a bar or a liquor store served the suspect, justice will be incomplete unless those individuals face the consequences of enabling this catastrophic event.

--Grossman Law Offices

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