Family sues bars for fatal drunk driving accident

Bikini's and On the Rox accused of over serving drunk driver

By Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas - The family of a Montgomery County teenager who died in a car accident is suing two bars accused of serving a drunk driver.

Travis Saunder, 18, was one of two people who died in an accident on I-45 on June, 29.

"It's pretty tough," said David Dorrough, Saunders' brother-in-law. "No one expected it to happen." 

Investigators said Nicole Backus drove her Ford F-150 the wrong way on June 29 while under the influence of alcohol. According to authorities, Backus slammed head-on into a Chevy Aveo, injuring a passenger and killing two others, one of whom was Saunders.

Saunder's family described the teen as kind-hearted and loving.

"He was nice to everybody," said Dorrough."He never had a bad thing to say about anybody."

The family's lawsuit accuses two bars -- On the Rox on Sawdust Road and Bikini's on 1-45 -- of over-serving the suspect before she drove that night.

The manager at Bikini's denied a request to comment on the case.

Kayla Thurman, manager of On the Rox, said she wasn't aware of the lawsuit.

"I don't think I can say anything about it," said Thurman. "I'm not part of the lawsuit so there's nothing really I can say."

The Saunders family's attorney told Local 2 that he hopes the lawsuit sends a strong message to bar owners and bartenders that it is dangerous to put profit over safety.

Dorrough said the family agrees with that sentiment and wants the message of responsibility to be clear.

"Be responsible," said Dorrough. "It doesn't only pertain to the people who are drinking, but those serving alcohol as well."

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