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Seattle, Washington

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Mike Myers
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Seattle Bar Could be Held Liable in Tragic I-5 Crash

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The mother of the Eric Hillstrom, 18, who was seriously injured in a collision, caused by a drunk driver speeding down Interstate 5 in the wrong direction, said Friday, ” [The accident] was 100 percent preventable.”

Cerrissa Christensen, the woman who caused the crash that left a woman (Hillstrom’s girlfriend) dead and Hillstrom seriously injured, should never have been allowed on the road in the first place said Hillstrom’s mother.

Christensen’s driving record certainly raises questions of why she was behind the wheel. Christensen has a 2003 drunken driving conviction and numerous tickets, including ones for a hit-and-run, speeding and reckless driving.

On Friday King County Prosecutors filed vehicular homicide and assault charges against Christensen. If convicted, she could be sentenced to more than six years in prison.

In this case the at-fault driver was drinking prior to the accident. It is believed that Christensen was taking shots of tequila in a Seattle bar. The number of shots has not been confirmed but a claim against the bar for over serving the driver comes to mind as a means of recovery.

Washington’s Supreme Court recently revised the standard for imposing liability on bars and restaurants. Washington used to hold bars liable for injuries caused by their customers if the customer was obviously intoxicated. But case law in the last couple of years has changed that standard from “obviously” intoxicated to “apparently” intoxicated. Relaxation of the standard means that more bars can be held liable for serving too much alcohol to customers like the at-fault driver in this tragic case.

Any time there’s a drunk driving accident the victims should look to the bar or restaurant that served the drunk driver for compensation.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Tractor-trailer accidents.