Nashville bar sued in connection with fatal drunk-driving crash

A family wants to hold a bar accountable in a fatal drunk-driving crash. (WSMV)

A Nashville bar is being sued in connection with the death of a woman killed in an alleged drunk-driving crash.

Trena Goshtasbi died in November. She was a passenger in a Nissan Pathfinder driven by her friend, Hanse Merrick. The two were leaving TNT Billiards Bar and Grill on Nolensville Road.

The SUV missed a curve on Burkitt Road and flipped.

Shah Goshtasbi, Trena’s 18-year-old son, said his mother was strong and funny and they were best friends. They worked side by side several days a week at the Cracker Barrel, where he worked an after-school job as a server.

"Losing her was losing a huge part of my life," Shah Goshtasbi said.

Shah said he got panicky texts on his phone at school the morning of the crash but didn’t know the details.

"They wouldn't tell me what happened. I remember I just looked it up on my phone. And I saw the news article, you know? One dead. It was my mom," he said.

The family is filing suit against TNT Bar for over-serving Merrick, the driver. The police report said she had nearly three times the legal limit of alcohol in her system.

"The lesson that bar owners, and specifically TNT, need to learn, is that they can't do this," said Justin Hight, who is with the Rocky McElhaney law firm.

This is the second time the law firm has sued TNT. In 2013, there was another fatal crash involved someone leaving the bar. That case ended in a settlement.

"Well, it says to me that the bar doesn't care about the patrons and the local community," said Hight.

The owner of TNT Bar was not immediately available for a comment.

Shah is about the graduate high school and hopes to become a doctor; milestones his mother will never witness.

“I’m just trying to find my way right now. I'm just trying to find what my future is. Especially without her," he said.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Nancy Amons is an award-winning member of the News4 I-Team. She has been breaking stories in Middle Tennessee for more than 20 years.

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