By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
August 20, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- The family of a Tampa teen who was hit and permanently disabled by a drunk driver near Florida State University in 2014 is back in court seeking damages from two bars that allegedly over-served both the driver and the victim the night of the accident.
In 2014, Devon Dwyer, a suspected drunk driver, hit and severely injured Tampa teen and FSU hopeful Jackie Faircloth while crossing an intersection near the campus.
Her father told us in December of that year the outlook was grim.
“We’ve come to learn this type of an injury is not something that heals quickly,” said John Faircloth.
Dwyer was sentenced to two and a half years for the hit and run.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections Devon Dwyer has completed his prison sentence and is now serving eight years of community supervision.
Jackie is now living in an assisted living facility, permanently disabled from the crash.
“She can move her arm either left or right for yes or no if you pick up her arm,” said Jackie’s cousin, Katie Faircloth, in a deposition recorded in January.
The incident, while devastating, has resulted in some road safety improvements around FSU’s campus.
A flashing cross walk was installed at the scene of the accident by the city of Tallahassee to improve pedestrian visibility at the intersection.
Suing in civil court, the Faircloth family is hoping to recover damages from two bars, Potbelly’s and the now-closed Cantina 101, which are alleged to have served Jackie and Dwyer the night of the crash.
Both Dwyer and Jackie were underaged when the accident occurred.
Court testimony suggests both were intoxicated as well.
A previous attempt to collect more than $46 million from the bars earlier this year ended in a hung jury and mistrial.
State Attorney Jack Campbell, who prosecuted Dwyer, hopes for a different outcome this time.
“That the case would be able to resolve and help them in their recovery as victims,” said Campbell. “That the case would be able to resolve and help them in their recovery as victims. I wish we could do something more obviously medically so that Jackie could be better.”
Attorneys representing the Faircloth family and the restaurants declined to comment on the case, fearing the possibility of another mistrial.