This week has not been a stellar one when it comes to injuries and fatalities involving drunk drivers on Bexar County, Texas roadways.
Last Saturday at about 4:30 a.m., the driver of a pickup truck, Leslie Celeste Leicht, simply stopped her Ford F-250 pickup truck for some unknown reason on eastbound Interstate 10 near Boerne Stage Road. That caused 47-year-old driver John Zillman Stafford III to slam into her with his truck, killing him. According to police, he was unable to avoid her. In the wake of the accident, Leicht was found to be drunk, and was charged with intoxication manslaughter and released on $30,000 bond.
Then, there was another fatal crash involving alcohol at about 1 a.m. Monday on Highway 181 South near W. Laguna Road in South Bexar County. In that accident, 29-year-old Melanie Saucedo slammed her Mitsubishi into the back of another car. The impact of the crash caused the other car to roll over, killing 58-year-old Peter Castillo of Floresville. First responders at the scene also found a seriously injured 7-year-old boy in the brush near the highway, indicating that he had been thrown from the vehicle Saucedo hit. Saucedo now faces possible charges of intoxication manslaughter, depending on the results of testing of blood that was taken at the scene.
And then, just this morning, another driver was arrested after she allegedly caused a crash that involved a patrol car for the San Antonio Police Department. According to SAPD, the crash occurred just before 2:30 a.m. this morning on Castroville Road.
As the officer was sitting at a red light in his patrol car, a car rear-ended an SUV, with enough force that the impact sent the SUV into the patrol car. Both the driver of the SUV and the officer suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene. The driver who caused the accident has been arrested on suspicion of DWI.
This flurry of activity comes after a report by the San Antonio Express-News suggesting that the number of fatal alcohol-related crashes in Bexar County are down around 20 percent this year over 2013. According to the report, there were a total of 189 fatalities in the county last year, with 73 involving alcohol. By contrast, through October 2014, there have been 149 fatalities, with 49 of them alcohol related.
Texas already has the fourth-worst record in the United States for drunk driving fatalities, and Bexar County is not an exception, especially when you look at a week like this one. There is never a good excuse for getting drunk and getting behind the wheel. It is a choice, and it is completely negligent. The report noted above lists the most dangerous roads in Bexar County, and a large portion of that danger comes from those who choose to drive drunk.
If you or a loved has been injured or killed in an accident involving a drunk driver, call the Texas Drunk Driving Accident Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible to protect your rights.