Mother Sues Bar After Apparent DUI Death of Teen

DUI Death
Car keys and glass of alcohol on a table in a pub or restaurant | Image by Marian Weyo/Shutterstock

The mother of a White Settlement teenager killed in an apparent drunk driving incident is suing a Lake Worth bar, claiming that a bar overserved the driver who crashed into their home.

The mother, Saginaw High School English teacher Amy Kirkland, is also suing the driver.

Amy Kirkland is seeking $1 million in monetary relief for mounting medical costs.

Katey Kirkland, 18, was killed in her bedroom when 64-year-old Donald Gruber reportedly crashed his truck into a street-facing room of the Kirkland household.

Now, Gruber is facing indictments for intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter. He has three prior DUI convictions.

A second person present in the vehicle with Gruber has also been charged in the case.

The woman, identified as 69-year-old Peggy Cox, is also charged with intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter.

Police allege that Cox contributed to the crash by grabbing the steering wheel before the car veered into the Kirkland’s home.

Katey Kirkland died at the scene of the crash. Her father, Kevin Kirkland, a geometry teacher at Boswell High School, remains hospitalized after spending three months in a coma with a traumatic brain injury.

Kevin Kirkland needed a craniotomy after he suffered a stroke in his cerebellum. He now has a permanent shunt in his head.

Kirkland has regained his ability to walk, though he needs a walker. He has more surgeries ahead, including one to implant a gastrointestinal tube and another for a tracheotomy.

Kirkland also has a long road to mental recovery. He is just now able to play tic-tac-toe and do math again.

The bar that apparently served Gruber his drinks was The Point on Lake Worth. Wildcat Canyon LLC, Woods Inlet, and LLC F/K/A Woods Inlet Corp. are the registered business names of the defendants in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that Gruber was a regular bar patron and that the staff knew him well.

It also alleges that the drinking establishment regularly overserved Gruber and that the bar failed to train its employees adequately.

Lyons & Simmons LLP is representing the Kirkland family. The legal firm is known for representing victims of serious injury or other catastrophes.

Though this accident did not occur in Dallas, DUIs have been a mounting problem in the city. According to the Dallas Police crime analytics dashboard, there have been 405 DUIs in the City of Dallas in 2023. This represents a 6.3% increase year to date.

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