Family members of a 21-year-old woman killed in a traffic accident last fall are suing the other driver involved and the restaurant they claim served him alcohol prior to the wreck.
John Howard and Michael Morris, the father and brother, respectively, of Jessica Howard, filed a wrongful death suit Monday in Davidson County Circuit Court against Dustin Coker, Ryan Coker and Sam’s All American Sports Grill in Hendersonville following the Oct. 6, 2010, deaths of Jessica Howard and Kevin McManamon.
The wrongful death and negligence suit claims Dustin Coker had a blood-alcohol content that was twice the legal limit when the Ford pickup truck he was driving slammed into the Chrysler Sebring driven by McManamon, 26, around 1 a.m. Oct. 6 at the intersection of Alta Loma Road and North Gallatin Pike.
Following the wreck, police said McManamon, of Hendersonville, was driving on a suspended license that night and was turning left from Alta Loma onto Gallatin when the truck ran into his driver’s side door, killing him and Jessica Howard, who was a passenger in the Sebring.
The suit seeks a judgment against the defendants to include compensation for property damages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and unspecified punitive damages.
Dustin Coker, according to the suit, drank alcohol at Sam’s All American Sports Grill on Indian Lake Boulevard just before the wreck. Ryan Coker is named in the suit as the owner of the Ford truck.
Nashville-based attorney Adam Dread, who represents Sam’s, said his clients had not yet been served with the suit and had no prior knowledge of the incident.
Contact information for the Cokers could not be found and it was unclear if they had yet to retain legal counsel.
After the accident, Metro police charged Dustin Coker, who was 21 at the time, with driving under the influence. Prosecutors later dropped the charge after Coker was indicted on two criminal counts of vehicular homicide.
Attorneys David L. King and Dana Schmidt are representing John Howard and Morris.