Wrongful death lawsuit filed against two bars

The family of a man who was killed in August in an alcohol-related crash has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the suspected drunk driver and the bars that served her alcohol before she crashed.

The lawsuit, alleging negligence, was filed April 19 in the case of Samuel Gilberto Pedraza, who was killed by a suspected drunk driver in August.

Ileana Pedraza, the victim’s widow, filed the lawsuit in the 341st District Court. Laura Sanchez-Saldaña, the suspected drunk driver, local bar Old No. 2 and TKO Sports Cafe are all named as defendants in the suit. Old No. 2 employees Benito Guerra and Maria J. Gonzalez are being sued in their individual capacity.

Damages are sought in excess of a million dollars.

The suit claims that last year, Sanchez-Saldana went to the Old No. 2 and the TKO Sports Cafe, and was given alcohol by both establishments despite being visibly intoxicated. It also claims that the employees of both establishments knew or should have known that she intended to drive after leaving the establishment. The lawsuit states that Guerra and Gonzalez provided alcohol to Sanchez-Saldana after the bar of Old No. 2 closed at 2 a.m.

After Sanchez-Saldana left the bar, she traveled eastbound on U.S. Highway 359 in Laredo. Pedraza was also driving eastbound on the road. Pedraza slowed to approach a red light, but Sanchez-Saldana failed to slow down and collided into Pedraza’s vehicle. Pedraza suffered a fatal injury.

She was indicted on one count of intoxication manslaughter in January. The next court hearing in the case is set for June 17.

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