Montgomery City, MO — A woman was killed this Thursday morning, October 24, 2013 after she was hit by an alleged drunk driver in Montgomery City as she was walking along North Walker Street. The woman was identified as Lisa Higgenbotham, 52, and the driver was identified as Curtis Huenefeld, 39.
According to the police reports, Higgenbotham was walking along North Walker at about 2:00 a.m. on Thursday morning when Huenefeld struck her with his pickup truck. She was killed at the scene and police detained Huenefeld after suspecting that he was under the influence of alcohol.
The investigation is still ongoing, but Huenefeld was later charged with alcohol-related offenses. Huenefeld, who is the owner of the Pit Stop Bar & Grill, has DWI convictions from 2005 and 2006, police said.
They are currently waiting on toxicology reports.
Scene of the Accident
This accident has a very interesting fact pattern, in legal terms. In most car accidents where alcohol is believed to be a factor, the police check to see where the driver had been drinking. Any attorney worth his salt will tell you that if a bar or restaurant was involved, there’s a good chance they over-served the customer and simply let him leave and get behind the wheel. However, this is a situation where the defendant is the actual owner of the bar and may have provided themselves with the alcohol. Now, I don’t want to jump to conclusions without facts, but I can say that there’s a big difference between drinking at home and drinking at a bar. A bar, restaurant, pub, etc is a licensed provider of alcohol, but a person’s home is not. Obviously, things are a bit complicated if an owner serves themselves alcohol, but that doesn’t change the fact that the bar is a licensed provider. Why is this important? Well, if a bar gives alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person, they become liable for that customer in the eyes of the law. Bringing a cause of action against a bar in a situation like this accomplishes a few things – namely, providing the victim’s family with relief and sending a message to other bars. From the facts reported here, it looks as though the suspect has some alcohol-related offenses in the past and has not yet learned his lesson about alcohol + responsibility.
– Grossman Law Offices