Fairbanks bars sued in DWI death

Posted: Sunday, October 06, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The parents of a 17-year-old Fairbanks girl who was killed in a car crash involving a drunken driver are suing two bars where the man allegedly was drinking.

The wrongful death lawsuit alleges bar staff at The Hideaway and American Legion Post No. 57 overserved Kirk Jackson on Sept. 30, 2000, the day he was involved in the accident that killed Heather Dowdy. A civil complaint was filed in Fairbanks Superior Court in late September.

Jackson, then 32, was driving a truck near 3.5 Mile Old Steese Highway when he crossed into the oncoming lane and collided with Dowdy's car. Dowdy, then a Lathrop High School senior, suffered multiple injuries and died during surgery later that day.

After the accident, Jackson's blood-alcohol content measured 0.29, almost three times the legal limit at the time.

Jackson eventually pleaded no contest to charges of manslaughter and drunken driving and was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison.

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