Bayou investigated following teen deaths | PostIndependent.com

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

tragedy.²

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

Glenwood Canyon.

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

of I-70.

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

toxicology report.

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.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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