76ºF

Family seeks civil justice in 2014 hit-and-run near FSU

Crash led to some road safety improvements around campus

photo

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The family of a Tampa teenager who was hit by a vehicle and permanently disabled near Florida State University in 2014 was back in court, seeking damages from two bars that allegedly overserved both the driver and the victim the night of the accident. 

In 2014, Devon Dwyer, a suspected drunk driver, allegedly hit and severely injured Tampa teen and FSU hopeful Jackie Faircloth while crossing an intersection near the campus.

Her father said in December that year the outlook was grim.

“We’ve come to learn this type of an injury is not something that heals quickly,” John Faircloth said.

Dwyer was sentenced to two and a half years in the hit-and-run.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Dwyer has completed his prison sentence and is now serving eight years of community supervision.

Jackie Faircloth is now living in an assisted living facility, permanently disabled from the crash.

“She can move her arm either left or right for yes or no if you pick up her arm,” said Jackie Faircloth’s cousin in a deposition recorded in January.

The incident, while devastating, has resulted in some road safety improvements around FSU’s campus.

A flashing crosswalk was installed at the scene of the accident by the city of Tallahassee to improve pedestrian visibility at the intersection.

photo

Suing in civil court, the Faircloth family is hoping to recover damages from two bars, Potbelly’s and the now-closed Cantina 101, which are alleged to have served Jackie Faircloth and Dwyer the night of the crash.

Both Dwyer and Jackie Faircloth were underaged when the accident occurred. 

Court testimony suggests both were intoxicated.

A previous attempt to collect more than $46 million from the bars earlier this year ended in a hung jury and mistrial.

State Attorney Jack Campbell, who prosecuted Dwyer, hopes for a different outcome this time.

“That the case would be able to resolve and help them in their recovery as victims,” said Campbell. “I wish we could do something more obviously medically so that Jackie could be better.”

Attorneys representing the Faircloth family and the restaurants declined to comment on the case, fearing the possibility of another mistrial.