Five employees at a local Houston bar have been charged after allegedly serving a teenager alcohol before he got behind the wheel, killing a 23-year-old mother. Police arrested four servers and one manager who were all employees at a bar named Servi-Car el 3, a part of Frontera Events Venue in Houston, Texas.
Surveillance videos from the bar show that on the evening of December 17th, 19-year-old Erick Hernandez, consumed a number of alcoholic drinks over a six hour period. The video also shows Hernandez taking at least three tequila shots and many of the bartenders joining him.
Less than a minute after a visibly intoxicated Hernandez left the bar in his truck, he swerved across three lanes of traffic and hit an SUV head on. Sadly the driver of the vehicle, Taylor Phillips, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her one-year-old son was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash has minor injuries.
“This family should be celebrating the holiday, but is instead planning a funeral,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “This tragedy should never have happened.”
The five employees, Joaquin Gonzalez, Anna Lula, Jazely Barrera, Mildred Garcia, and manager Gustavo Tejada-Garcia were all charged with misdemeanors for serving alcohol to a minor. Investigators with TABC and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office say that the employees failed to check the minor’s identification before serving him. The bar was also only licensed to sell beer and wine, not liquor.
Hernandez was charged with intoxication manslaughter and may face up to 20 years in prison.
Houston leads the nation in highest number of fatal alcohol and drug crashes
According to a report by the Houston Chronicle, the Houston metro area had more fatal drunken-driving crashes during the last 16 years than any other major metropolitan area in the country. The analysis showed that since 2010, the Houston area has averaged more than 5,000 crashes caused by impaired drivers annually. Read more about the study.
Irresponsible bars and servers are a danger to everyone
These types of accidents occur all too often. In June, 2018, we filed a million dollar lawsuit in Harris County against Bombshells restaurant on behalf of an injured police officer hurt in a drunk driving crash. In the early morning hours of May 20, 2018, Officer Chayne Brother’s patrol car was struck by Jeremy Leos who was leaving Bombshells restaurant. The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Leos was obviously and dangerously intoxicated and that despite this, he was allowed to exit the restaurant and get behind the wheel of a car. Learn more about this case.
If you were hurt by a drunk driver you need an experienced car accident attorney
If you or your loved one was hurt or killed in an drunk driving crash, having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side is important. Contact us today for a free, no obligation case evaluation.