FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) - The wife of a Brentwood Police officer killed in a crash by an apparent drunk driver has filed a lawsuit seeking $7 million from the Franklin business where the suspect had been drinking prior to the crash.
Heather Legieza, widow of Destin Legieza, filed the suit against Kimbro's Pickin' Parlor in Franklin.
The lawsuit claims that at about midnight on June 18, 2020, an employee began serving alcoholic drinks to Ashley Biance Ruth Kroese. The lawsuit also claims the employee serving Kroese knew she had consumed alcohol beverages earlier that evening. The employee continued to serve Kroese even though she was visibly intoxicated. One or more of Kimbro's employees knew that Kroese later left the business and knew that he car was nearby.
Police have identified the Brentwood officer killed in a two-car crash that happened on Franklin Road on Thursday morning.
Somewhere near 4:30 a.m., Kroese drove her vehicle north on Franklin Road from downtown toward Brentwood with no headlights. After she passed through the intersection of Concord Road, she crossed from the northbound lanes and turn lane and struck the patrol car driven by Destin Legieza head-on in front of the Brentwood Market. Legieza died from his injuries.
A blood alcohol test after the crash revealed she had a blood alcohol level of .166, more than twice the legal limit.
Heather Legieza claims in the lawsuit that the death was the direct result of Kroese's consumption of alcohol, including the alcohol at Kimbro's. She claims Kimbro violated state law by serving alcoholic beverages to a visibly intoxicated person.
It’s still difficult for Heather Legieza after her husband, Brentwood Police Officer Destin Legieza, was killed two months ago in the line of duty.
Heather Legieza seeks damages for her late husband's pain and suffering, his medical and funeral bills, the economic value of life, and the loss of love, society, affection and consortium. She is asking for a judgment of $7 million against Kimbro's.
The woman driving the car that crossed the center line and killed a Brentwood Police officer had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, according to court records.
News 4 spoke to the wife of the bar owner and they sent over the following statement:
"When I learned that Brentwood Police Officer Destin Legieza was killed in a car crash with a young lady that had visited my establishment hours prior, my heart sank. I grieve the loss for Officer Legieza’s family, the Brentwood Police Department family, and the community. The young lady involved in the accident left my establishment several hours before the accident after ordering two waters, two bags of chips and one beer. My establishment is named as the sole defendant in a civil lawsuit brought by Officer Legieza’s widow, which I view as an attempt to piece together what happened in the hours before the accident. While I don’t know the answer to that question, I hope Mrs. Leqieza uncovers the truth and finds peace.
Meanwhile, News 4 also reached out to Legeiza’s attorney, who said too early for them to comment.