Bayou investigated following teen deaths
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ‹ A local bar that was reprimanded two years ago for
underage serving is being investigated in connection with the deaths of two
local teenagers in a drunken-driving accident earlier this month.
Bayou Grille & Bar owner Steve Beham confirmed Friday that he has been
contacted by the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division for questioning about
whether the two underage girls, ages 16 and 18, were at the bar, and if they
were served alcohol earlier the night of the accident.
³We have been fully cooperative, and I am confident we will come out of this
with no charges,² Beham said, adding he has been instructed not to comment
outside the investigation.
He did add, however, ³We feel terrible for the families involved in this
³I look forward to the end of this investigation, and findings that clear
our name,² Beham said.
Unconfirmed reports from witnesses following the accident suggested that
Brianda Zavala, 18, of Glenwood Springs and Jennifer Nevarez, 16, of
Carbondale were seen at the Bayou the night of Saturday, April 13.
The accident itself happened at 5:30 a.m., some four hours after the Bayou¹s
usual closing time, on April 14 on Interstate 70 east of Glenwood Springs in
According to Colorado State Patrol reports, Zavala was driving a 2006 Audi
when she collided head-on with a semi-truck in a construction zone. Zavala
was reportedly headed east in the designated westbound lane of traffic.
At the time, traffic was two-way in that section due to construction, with
both eastbound and westbound traffic shifted to the elevated westbound lanes
Zavala and her two backseat passengers, Nevarez and Albino Ortiz-Monge, 24,
of Gypsum, were all pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the truck,
Peter Zhuchok, 54, of Aurora, was not injured in the accident.
According to a Garfield County Coroner¹s toxicology report, Zavala had a
blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.241 percent, three times the legal limit of
0.08 percent for driving in Colorado.
Nevarez had a BAC level of 0.091 percent, while Ortiz-Monge had a BAC of
0.046 percent and also had traces of cocaine in his system, according to the
The Bayou was fined and had its liquor license suspended last fall,
following a show cause hearing before city of Glenwood Springs liquor
licensing officials for serving underage patrons on two occasions.
In that case, after a show-cause hearing on Oct. 10, 2012, former Bayou
manager Arturo Davilla-Rivero was found to have permitted alcohol to be
served to underage patrons twice, on June 10, 2011, and again on Nov. 13,
2011, according to a complaint and order issued by city liquor officials.
The bar¹s liquor license was suspended for five days, but it was given the
option of paying a fine-in-lieu of $939. Another 30 days suspension was
ordered to be held in abeyance for one year, under the condition that there
be no other liquor code violations.
Beham said Davilla-Rivero, the manager who was found to have served alcohol
to minors, is no longer with the Bayou.
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Policy that dictates what for-profit activities should be officially sanctioned within Glenwood Springs parks is being reviewed by city staff and will likely come before the city council for final approval later this summer.