LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The driver Indiana State Police says killed three people in a wrong-way crash last month had just left a work party for a local distillery, according to a lawsuit that was filed last week.
The crash took place on Saturday, March 7. Police say 31-year-old Taylor Barefoot, of Louisville, was driving a white SUV the wrong way in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 265, just inside Floyd County. According to ISP, Barefoot's SUV hit a white Chevrolet Cavalier that was traveling in the opposite direction head-on.
Two women in the other vehicle, 21-year-old Taylor Cole and 22-year-old Leah Onstott, died as a result of the crash. Two children were in the back seat. One of those children died. The other was taken to Norton's Hospital, and his condition was not released.
Barefoot was airlifted to University Hospital in Louisville with severe injuries. At the time, investigators said they believe alcohol played a factor in the crash. A criminal investigation is ongoing. Barefoot has not been charged.
But a lawsuit filed by Cole's family last Tuesday accuses Barefoot and Sazerac of negligence.
According to the complaint, Barefoot was a recruiter for Sazerac and attending the liquor brand's Northwest Ordinance distilling Mardi Gras party shortly before the crash.
"Even though several Sazerac agents and employees witnessed Barefoot in her intoxicated state and knew or should have known of Barefoot’s intoxicated condition, these Sazerac agents and employees allowed Barefoot to drive away intoxicated in her personal car," the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit says she left the party about 9 p.m. and fourteen minutes later, the frantic calls started coming into 911.
"Oh my God, there's somebody on the highway and they're driving the wrong way and they just smashed somebody," a caller screamed to a 911 operator in a call obtained by WDRB. "Oh my God, those people are dead there's no way they survived that," she said told the 911 operator while sobbing.
A second lawsuit is expected to be filed by Onstott's loved ones as well. A representative for the liquor company says Barefoot was an independent contractor providing services for Sazerac, and that she is no longer working with the company
A month after the crash, Barefoot has not been charged criminally for the wreck or the three deaths. A representative of the Floyd County Prosecutor's office would only say it's still under investigation and he's waiting on the full report from Indiana State Police.
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