GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas — A Galveston bartender was arrested Monday after the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said he illegally served alcohol to an intoxicated man who later left a bar and killed four people in a crash involving a golf cart.
The bartender has been identified as 58-year-old Gil Garcia. He was arrested by agents from TABC’s Target Responsibility for Alcohol-Connected Emergencies (TRACE). Garcia is charged with selling alcohol to an intoxicated person and could face a fine of not more than $500 and up to a year in jail if convicted.
The deadly crash that killed four people, including two children, happened late at night on Aug. 6 on 33rd Street, just a few blocks away from Seawall Boulevard.
Miguel Espinoza, 45, had just left a bar in Galveston when his black Hyundai SUV crashed into a golf cart and another vehicle, authorities said.
Espinoza was accused of driving drunk and faces four counts of intoxication manslaughter.
There were six people riding on the golf cart at the time of the crash. Four of them, including two children ages 4 and 14, died. The other two passengers were taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The people killed were members of a family visiting Galveston on vacation.
“This tragic case illustrates why it’s so important that alcohol retailers take steps to prevent sales to customers who show signs of intoxication,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “Businesses can help prevent deadly crashes by following the law and educating employees on how to identify signs of intoxication.”
A TABC investigation into the bar where Garcia worked is ongoing. TABC said businesses found in violation could face TABC administrative action, including a fine or a temporary suspension of their alcohol license or permit.
The deadly crash remains under investigation by the Galveston Police Department and Galveston County District Attorney’s Office.