Almost a year after a near-fatal hit and run accident Ashton Cerka, 20, is suing the driver who allegedly hit him and the bar that served the driver drinks.
The accident happened on January 28, 2011. Cerka was walking across the street near Crickets Avenue. Lubbock Police say he was crossing legally, but at the time he was 19-year-old and his blood alcohol content was .22. That's almost three times the legal limit for a person who is of age.
Investigators say Christopher Lee Thomas, 29, turned onto 19th street from Buddy Holly and hit Cerka. They say he failed to yield the right of way. Thomas drove off.
Cerka filed the lawsuit Monday in the 237th district court. According to the lawsuit, Thomas left the scene because he feared being charged with driving while intoxicated. The documents state Thomas was at The Library Bar in the Depot District before the accident. Cerka is suing the bar and some of its partners for over serving Thomas when he was "obviously intoxicated and became a danger to himself and others."
Thomas reported the accident the next morning and was arrested. Later he was indicted for Failure to Stop and Render Aid.
Cerka suffered severe body trauma and a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma for almost a month. His family tells KCBD that Cerka is still in a rehabilitation facility learning how to walk and talk again.
In the lawsuit, Cerka is suing Thomas and the Library Bar for damages including pain and anguish, loss of earning capacity, scarring and disfigurement, medical costs and court costs. He is requesting a trial by jury.
We reached out to Cerka's Lawyer Jim Killion. He says Cerka's BAC is not a contributing factor to the accident. Thomas or the Library Bar have not returned our calls.
Thomas's trial for the FSRA and Agg. Assault charge is set for January 19th, 2012 at 9 a.m. in the 364th District Court.
Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11