BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A lawsuit has been filed against the owner of the home where several young men allegedly drank alcohol before a crash that killed three of them on New Year’s Eve 2020.
Alice Hutchings, the mother of Devin Lee Atha, one of the men who died, is being sued because those in the car, all of whom were below the drinking age, are believed to have consumed alcohol at her home on Leigh River Street, according to the suit. She is believed to have been home when they were drinking, said attorney Matthew C. Clark with Chain Cohn Stiles.
One of the revelers, Adam Teasdale, got behind the wheel afterward.
He crashed nearby, killing Atha, Timothy Michael Wilson and Andrew Nicholas Ortiz, also 20. Teasdale, 20 at the time, is alleged to have been impaired and is facing trial on three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Clark is representing the mother of Ortiz.
The state has laws in place where adults can be held legally responsible for furnishing alcohol to those under 21.
“In this instance, we have reason to believe that these young adults, all under the age of 21, consumed alcoholic beverages, including Mr. Teasdale, that they consumed alcoholic beverages to the point of intoxication, including Mr. Teasdale, and roughly two minutes after leaving Ms. Hutchings’ house he gets in an accident and kills three people,” Clark said.
Atha, Wilson and Ortiz were in the backseat of Teasdale’s Toyota Avalon. A passenger in the front seat, Teasdale’s girlfriend at the time, suffered minor injuries.
Clark said they’re trying to find out who supplied the alcohol but the girlfriend has refused to speak and he can’t compel Teasdale to testify until his criminal case is over. Teasdale has a hearing Thursday to schedule a trial date.
Teasdale is also a defendant in the suit, which says he “knew that consuming alcoholic beverage to the point of intoxication and impairment of his mental and physical faculties and then driving a motor vehicle was extremely dangerous to human life.”
A hearing is scheduled April 20.