Madra Rua, The Sparrow named in wrongful death suit

Madra Rua (File)

Two Park Circle bars are being sued in connection with a 2014 fatal car crash which occurred after a man who drank at both establishments drove the wrong way on Interstate 26.

Representatives of Madra Rua and The Sparrow did not return calls seeking comment.

According to the wrongful death lawsuit, Anthony Pascucci on the night of Oct. 2, 2014 drank beer and liquor with friends at Madra Rua, becoming “severely intoxicated.” The group then walked to The Sparrow for additional drinks, before returning to Madra Rua for another round.

Circumstances surrounding Pascucci’s departure are unclear, but just before 3 a.m., Pascucci -- a 26-year-old UPS driver from Long Island – was driving his Mitsubishi Lancer east in the westbound lane of Interstate 26 near Ridgeville. He collided head-on with a car being driven by Tonya Carson, whose husband was following her in a rental truck. Randall Carson stopped and tried to free Carson from her car, but it caught fire before he could break one of the windows. “Mr. Carson had to stand by helplessly as his wife was consumed by flames,” the lawsuit states in its argument for collecting damages for emotional distress.

Pascucci was also killed in the collision.

The lawsuit, filed in Charleston County by attorney Ronald Cox on behalf of Carson’s husband, alleges Madra Rua and The Sparrow violated their common law duty and liquor license requirements by serving alcohol to an intoxicated customer and failing to call the police.

Nobody affiliated with Madra Rua or The Sparrow faced criminal charges in connection with Carson’s death. And a State Law Enforcement Division spokeswoman confirms neither of the bars was cited for a license violation.

In one of the more high-profile wrongful death suits recently brought against a local restaurant, Husk was sued after one of its employees was charged with a felony DUI after fatally crashing into another car on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. A federal judge in 2012 approved a $1.1 million settlement to end the lawsuit, which alleged the restaurant allowed the employee to drink excessively on the premises after hours.