A woman is dead after being struck by a Dodge Journey. San Antonio police responded to a crash on Saturday, September 3, 2022, at approximately 1:34 a.m. near the 1600 block of NE Loop 410. They say a woman was walking westbound along the Harry Wurzbach to Loop 410 NE when she was struck by a Dodge Journey that fled the scene and did not stop to render aid. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. An SAPD officer saw the driver pulling into a nearby parking lot at the 8100 block of Broadway. The driver was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated and Failing to Stop and Render Aid Resulting in Death.
There are many things about this crash that I find upsetting. The one that sticks out to me the most is that the driver was only arrested for Driving While Intoxicated and Failing to Stop and Render Aid Resulting in Death. While I don’t know all of the details surrounding this crash, what I do know is that a woman was struck by a drunk driver and is now dead. This is becoming all too common and will continue until bars are held responsible for their involvement and drunk drivers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Less than two months ago in San Antonio on July 17, there was a similar crash caused by a drunk driver who was only arrested for a DWI. That night, 20-year-old Ivey Lee Zamora was charged with Driving While Intoxicated for her role in a crash where she ran a red light at 2:30 a.m., at the intersection of Callaghan and Evers. Though the fact pattern is different, the results are the same. An innocent person lost their life and family members are left suffering. This leaves me shaking my head. An underage driver who probably just left a bar changed the course of the lives of others and was only arrested for a DWI. For victims and their families, it can be particularly painful to see drivers only arrested with a misdemeanor DWI instead of a more serious crime such as Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter. This seems hopeless at times and it may leave you wondering what more can be done.
More can be done. Texas has a Dram Shop law that allows establishments (bars, restaurants, venues, stores, etc.) to be held liable when they serve an obviously intoxicated person. While this cannot bring back a lost loved one or heal injuries, it can bring help to hurting families and may serve as a part of their healing process by bringing some justice in an unjust situation. Victims and their families will need a third party to get involved in the investigation to preserve evidence upfront and ask important questions such as, “Where were they drinking?” Preserving evidence is key and getting help to navigate this process should be done sooner than later.
I hope that investigators and the Bexar County District Attorney decide to review the charges and prosecute this crime more seriously if the facts support what seems to be an obvious case of “drunk driver leaves bar and kills innocent pedestrian”.