The owners of a bar in Texas where a motorist had been drinking before crashing into a group of cyclists, killing one and injuring another, are seeking to defend a civil action against them by saying that the victims were to blame.
23-year-old Marco Pena Beltran was killed and fellow cyclist Christian Tovar injured when driver Gerilyn Weberlein is alleged to have crashed into the group they were riding in on 4 June last year, reports the South East Texas Record.
It is alleged that Weberlein was “severely intoxicated” at the time of the fatal crash, which happened on 69th Street in Galveston at 10.10pm.
Her blood alcohol level was found to be above the legal limit and she was subsequently charged with second-degree felony intoxication manslaughter and third-degree felony intoxication assault.
Separately, police charged two bartenders at the Island Pier Club with class-A misdemeanour selling an alcoholic beverage to an intoxicated person after examining video footage showing them continuing to serve her alcoholic drinks despite her apparently being drunk.
Beltran’s family and Tovar have brought a civil action against the bar’s owners, BOI Entertainment LLC, alleging that Weberlein was being served alcohol there while drunk.
However, in its response filed with the court last month, the company, which is seeking to have the driver joined to the action, rejected their claim and said that the cyclists were to blame.
It claims that “Neither Beltran nor Tovar was riding their bike in a safe manner, especially at night, and that neither bike had appropriate lighting, reflection devices and Plaintiffs were not riding in a single file as required by law and in the exercise of ordinary care.”
Both the civil action and the criminal cases against Weberlein and the two bartenders are still ongoing.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.