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Family Names Bar In $20 Million Lawsuit Over Deadly Collision In San Antonio

A 'Ghost Bicycle' memorial to Beatrice Gonzalez who was struck and killed by an allegedly drunk driver in early April
Derek Tulowitzky
A 'Ghost Bicycle' memorial to Beatrice Gonzalez who was struck and killed by an allegedly drunk driver in early April

A bar in San Antonio will be named in a $20 million lawsuit over the “negligent” death of a cyclist.

TPR learned on Tuesday that the family of Beatrice Gonzalez will name Cerveceria Chapultepec in its lawsuit. The bar has not responded to TPR's request for comment.

The suit, filed last week, included the alleged driver, Samantha Castillo, who hit Gonzalez a few hundred yards away from the bar, which is near downtown.

Castillo allegedly was driving south on St. Mary’s Street when she failed to navigate a curve in the road, jumped the curb and struck Gonzalez.

According to the lawsuit, the bar overserved Castillo, in violation of state law. Castillo was visibly intoxicated upon arrest, and she had trouble standing and walking, according to a police report.

“Castillo became obviously intoxicated and was a clear danger to herself and others,” the family's lawsuit said.

The firm didn’t name the bar last week in its filing because initial public police reports didn’t make clear where Castillo was traveling from. It amended its lawsuit Tuesday.

TPR first named the bar based on an open records request it filed last week. After reporting on the locations Castillo visited that day, the news organization was threatened with legal action by the owner of another bar, Paramour, which is owned by Castillo’s employer, Martin J. Phipps.

Related | Reporting on Deadly Collision Leads To Legal Threats Against Journalist

According to police reports, Castillo named multiple bars when asked where she had been. Police stated in the report it had been Cerveceria Chapultepec she was traveling from, but it didn’t say how the conclusion was reached.

Fidel Rodriguez, the attorney for the Gonzalez family, said he wasn’t ruling out adding other bars to the lawsuit.

Castillo was scheduled to appear in criminal district court Tuesday, but her case is awaiting indictment by a grand jury. She was arrested the night of the accident for intoxication manslaughter.

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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org