According to the suit – filed last week in Henry Circuit Court 2 – employees at the Highway Bar & Grill, 9204 S. Mill St., Knightstown, continued to serve alcohol to a “visibly intoxicated” Jason N. Phelps on the evening of March 4, 2017.
After leaving the tavern, Phelps drove to his hometown of Greenfield, in Hancock County, where he lost control of his car while traveling on Ind. 9. The vehicle rolled before striking a house.
Phelps’ girlfriend and front-seat passenger, Dalene Charron, 47, was fatally injured in the crash.
Last week’s lawsuit was filed against the Knightstown bar on behalf of the Greenfield woman’s estate, represented by her son, Shawn Chapman.
It alleges bar employees knew Phelps “had a history of abusing alcohol” when they served him on the night of the crash. The driver’s blood-alcohol content after the accident was measured at 0.233, nearly three times the legal limit for motorists, according to the suit.
Phelps, now 43, in March 2018 was sentenced to 25 years in prison – including a 20-year habitual offender penalty – after pleading guilty to causing death while driving while intoxicated.
Phelps had been convicted of the same charge in 2007 after he struck and killed a 74-year-old Greenfield woman after ingesting cocaine and marijuana.
The lawsuit – filed by Anderson attorney Steven Smith – seeks compensation for the loss of Charron’s “economic and emotional support... (and her) love and companionship."
It asks that a jury determine damages in the case.