Lubbock bar and driver both sued, $1 million or more for death of Texas Tech student Jessica Helmers

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Kimberlie Dawson, “the surviving parent” of Jessica Helmers, 19, filed a lawsuit against Skooners and Gabriel Zerrata on Wednesday. The lawsuit seeks “monetary relief over $1,000,000.”

Police said Zerrata crashed his vehicle into the one driven by Helmers in the early morning hours of January 16. The crash was at the intersection of University Avenue with Marsha Sharp Freeway. Helmers died from the crash, and police later arrested Zerrata for manslaughter.

As police investigated, Zerrata told officers he had been to Skooners to have drinks and shots. Police asked Skooners what happened the business denied serving him, according to court records.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission opened an investigation which was still pending as of Thursday.

The lawsuit claimed Skooners overserved Zerrata alcohol.

“Skooners’ actions and/or inactions were a proximate cause of Zerrata’s intoxication,” the lawsuit said. It blames both Skooners and Zerrata for the death of Helmers.

EverythingLubbock.com left a message for the manager at Skooners. If the business chooses to comment, we will provide an update. Skooners has not yet filed its side of the story in court records.

Dawson was listed as a resident of Travis County. Her daughter was a student at Texas Tech.

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