TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The family of Jeffery Richardson, an off-duty police officer killed by an alleged drunk driver in Austin over the summer, announced Wednesday they’re suing the suspect and one of the bars where she went that day.
Richardson, 35, worked as an officer with the Poteet Police Department. Poteet is south of San Antonio. A driver struck and killed him while he worked traffic duty at a construction zone near The Domain early on the morning of June 29.
Richardson’s family held a news conference Wednesday morning at the Travis County Civil Courthouse to discuss their investigation and new legal action against the driver and the bar that allegedly served her before she drove drunk.
“For us this case is about public awareness and the loved one that we lost as a result of a bad decision,” Joe Richardson, the officer’s brother, said. “Jeff was a family man: a devoted husband, a loving father, a beloved son and a brother. He loved endlessly. He was hard-working and would do anything for anyone at a moment’s notice. He didn’t deserve to lose his life in a matter that he did.”
KXAN reached out Wednesday morning to the bar in question for comment about the lawsuit and will update this story once a response is shared.
The Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission said it investigated the bar in June shortly after the crash happened, and the investigation was closed pending additional information.
“This is often done when TABC’s investigation overlaps with parallel investigations by other agencies. As those investigations (or associated legal cases) uncover additional information, it’s likely TABC will resume its investigation of any businesses believed to be connected to the fatality,” a public information officer with TABC said.
TABC said there are no findings to report at this time.
The driver of the vehicle, Lindsay Smith, was arrested at the time and charged with intoxication assault of a peace officer, a felony.
Austin police said she stayed at the scene. Investigators performed a sobriety test and conducted a warrant for her blood sample.
According to an affidavit, the officer had been working on lane closures for construction in the area. The affidavit said the car drove through a barricade blocking the left two lanes and hit the officer at a high speed.
The affidavit said the driver told police she drank two mixed drinks at a restaurant, a total of four martinis at two different bars and “an unknown quantity of shots” before she drove.
KXAN is also asking Smith’s lawyers for comment about this new lawsuit.
The Richardson family’s attorney, Stephen Stewart, said they want to make sure no one else loses a loved one in an alcohol-related crash, especially with New Year celebrations approaching.
“Through this case, the Richardson family wants to make certain that sellers and servers of alcoholic beverages do their job correctly,” Stewart said, “and that establishments never continue to serve alcohol to patrons when they’re obviously intoxicated and they present a danger to themselves and to others.”