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"I lost my daughter": Naples family sues restaurant after daughter dies in crash

A family claims that a restaurant is at fault after a woman left the establishment drunk and fatally crashed into a nearby canal.
Posted at 6:03 PM, Apr 25, 2024

NAPLES, Fla — The family of a young woman who died in a car accident is suing a popular restaurant chain in Naples, alleging the establishment overserved the alcohol that led to her death.

Jona Bejko, 21, tragically lost her life on October 29th when her car crashed into a canal near I-75. According to her family, she had been drinking at Senor Tequila's Mexican Grill minutes before the accident.

Jona used to work at the restaurant but was not an employee there at the time she died, the family's attorneys say.

In an emotional statement, Harta Bejko, Jona's mother, described her daughter's final moments, recalling her last words: "She said I'm sorry mom. I'm drowning. I love you."

"I failed to protect my daughter," Harta said as she cried.

The family alleges that Jona was served multiple drinks at the restaurant, well beyond the point of intoxication, before she attempted to drive home. The family's attorneys say she was nearly four times the legal limit when she left the establishment.

"This should have never ever happened," said attorney Pedro Echarte from The Haggard Law Firm.

"They served her alcohol, not one, not two but several drinks to the point that she was 3 almost 4 times the legal limit by the time she left," he added.

Furthermore, the family's attorneys are alleging Jona had been served alcohol at Senor Tequila's before she even turned 21, which would be a violation of state law.

"The law in this state prohibits the service of alcohol to minors and prohibits the service of alcohol to people habitually addicted to alcohol," attorney Echarte said.

Fox 4's Mahmoud Bennett walked into the establishment but the bar manager declined to comment. We also reached out to the owner of the branches who an employee said was unavailable.

As the lawsuit unfolds, the Bejko family says they are advocating for greater responsibility among bar and restaurant staff when serving alcohol. They hope that by holding establishments accountable, they can prevent others from experiencing similar tragedies.

Harta said "No mother or father or any siblings can go through what we went through".