In the wee hours of November 7, 2011, Samuel Sanchez was barreling east down West Alabama near Driscoll when he lost control of his Nissan Pathfinder, veered across a parking lot and slammed into a brick residence next door to DiVino.
Sanchez, 25, and his front-seat passenger were taken to Ben Taub. Backseat passenger Jose Reyes Cruz, 35, was pulled from the wreckage and driven to the morgue.
Sanchez, whose last address was on Dunlavy, was convicted of both intoxication manslaughter and and intoxication assault is currently serving ten years in TDC's Garza Unit.
That is where he will soon be served with a copy of a lawsuit filed by Edwin Cruz, Jose Cruz's brother and heir. The suit claims that Sanchez caused Cruz's death by driving in a "grossly intoxicated state."
The suit further claims that Sanchez got in that state after drinking first at the 24-hour Ruchi's Las Americas Taqueria on South Shepherd before adjourning to divy Didy's Sports Bar/cantina around the corner on Richmond.
In the words of plaintiff's attorneys Dale M. Carroll and Randall V. Macchi, "both Ruchi's and Didy's served an excessive number of alcoholic beverages to defendant Sanchez, even though it was apparent to Ruchi's and Didy's that Sanchez was obviously intoxicated to the extent he presented a clear danger to himself and others," and neither establishment refused him sale nor called the police or a taxi.
Defendants include Ruchi's parent company Masaestrada Inc. and two men connected with Didy's Sports Bar, 61-year-old Jaime Gilberto Gonzalez and Tyrone Bernard Holden, a 46-year-old currently on probation for possession of cocaine.
In 2010, Holden was charged with aggravated sexual assault after a woman claimed he tackled her from behind and raped her while she was walking down West Main Street a couple of blocks from Didy's. That case was dismissed for lack of evidence early the following year, about five months before Sanchez's accident. Holden was charged with cocaine possession about three weeks before the accident; after his conviction, he was forbidden to enter bars under the terms of his probation.
We've got a call in to Carroll and Macchi.
According to court records, neither Ruchi's nor the men affilated with Didy's have hired attorneys yet.
No one answered the phone at Didy's, a bar with no website nor its own Facebook page.