Lexington bar pleads guilty to over-serving man who killed family in wrong-way crash

A Lexington bar admitted Tuesday it over-served a man whose blood-alcohol level was nearly four times the legal limit when he caused an interstate crash in January that killed a Michigan family of five.

Horseshoes Kentucky Grill & Saloon and the Lexington Alcoholic Beverage Control Office finalized a plea agreement Tuesday, according to Lexington police. The bar must pay a $10,000 fine and is suspended from serving alcohol for 10 days from May 17 to May 26. Horseshoes employees must also undergo retraining and certification on responsible alcohol service.

After going about six miles southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 on Jan. 6, Joey Lee Bailey’s pickup truck crashed into a Cadillac Escalade, killing himself and a family of five.

The crash, which occurred at about 2:30 a.m., killed Issam Abbas, 42; Dr. Rima Abbas, 38; and their children Ali, 14; Isabella, 13; and Giselle, 7. The family was on the way home to Michigan from a vacation in Florida, according to the Fayette County coroner’s office.

Bailey had a BAC of .306 and was ruled at fault in the crash, according to Coroner Gary Ginn.

Police said the truck’s event-data recorder showed that Bailey had been driving 70 to 80 mph when he crashed head-on into the Abbas family’s SUV. Police said several motorists told them that they passed or avoided the truck as it traveled the wrong way with one headlight out.

In a statement in February, a manager at Horseshoes said, “This is such a horrific event with this tragic loss of life for all the families involved. We know that law enforcement is investigating the facts surrounding this, and we have cooperated with them as they have requested. We have turned this over to our representatives to have the facts determined, and we will have no more public comment at this time.”

Tuesday, relatives of the Abbas family filed a lawsuit against Horseshoes and Roosters Wings in Georgetown. The lawsuit alleges that both allowed Joey Lee Bailey to consume drinks while he was “obviously intoxicated.”

Kentucky statutes state that vendors cannot be held liable when a patron injures another person, except when “a reasonable person under the same or similar circumstances should know that the person served is already intoxicated at the time of serving.” The lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges that those serving Bailey at Horseshoes Kentucky Grill & Saloon and Roosters Wings would have known he was intoxicated.

Bailey drank at least two 22-ounce beers and three double White Russians at Roosters Wings before driving to Horseshoes where he was served at least one beer and four double White Russians, according to a Lexington police report cited in the lawsuit.