Bar owner sued over fiery fatal crash - WNEM TV 5

Bar owner sued over fiery fatal crash

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Mitchell Sweatt & Robert Sweatt Mitchell Sweatt & Robert Sweatt
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The father of passenger who died in an alcohol-related crash is suing the bar where he alleged the driver was drinking.

According to a police report, Larry Bowers was behind the wheel of a Lexus when the car left the road and struck a tree in south Nashville in January. Mitchell Sweatt, 28, was in the passenger's seat.

Attorney Rocky McElhaney's office is representing Mitchell Sweatt's father, Robert.

"I wake up in the morning, and it's the first thing that hits me; that my son has passed," Robert Sweatt said.

The lawsuit alleges Bowers, the driver, was served alcohol at TNT's Billiards on Nolensville Road, even though Bowers was obviously and visibly intoxicated. The lawsuit is seeking $15 million.

"They just kept serving him drink after drink, after drink, knowing he was drunk," said Robert Sweatt.

Mitchell Sweatt burned to death, according to eyewitnesses, while pinned in the wreckage.

"He was conscious. He was moaning. One of the witnesses said by the time the fire department got there he had been burning for several minutes," McElhaney said.

In Tennessee, places that serve alcohol can be held responsible for over-serving patrons and letting them drive drunk.

"Serving someone too much alcohol is like throwing a rattlesnake in a crowd of people," McElhaney said.

"They could have cut him off, or given him a ride home, or called a cab. Anything other than driving home," Robert Sweatt said.

He's struggling to cope with the grief of losing his son.

"He had the brightest blue eyes I've ever seen," he said.

"He was a great person. He had a good soul. He was the type of person who liked all," he said.

The owner of TNT's Billiards said his lawyer advised him not to give an interview.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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