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Family sues Live Nation after son killed by drunk driver

By Susan Raff

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    FARMINGTON, Connecticut (WFSB) — Drinking and driving continues to be a serious problem.

Forty percent of all fatal crashes in Connecticut involve alcohol.

In late June, a Farmington teenager driving home from a baseball game was struck and killed by a drunk driver.

His parents are not only suing that man, but concert promoter Live Nation.

In an exclusive interview, Chief Political Reporter Susan Raff tells us why they feel Live Nation bears some responsibility for what happened.

Stephen Roux is dealing with an unbearable loss.

“This is not something anyone should have to go through,” said Stephen.

He and his wife Carri lost their son Luke.

Just days after graduating from high school, the 17-year-old was killed by a drunk driver who had been in Hartford to see a concert at the Xfinity Theater.

“During the time we were just numb we were just trying to breath,” Carri said.

The pain has been devastating.

“Nothing has changed since our son was taken from us, nothing. People are still going to concerts. People are still getting behind the wheel and drinking and driving,” said Stephen.

On June 25, Luke was driving home from a baseball game. He was close to home when he was hit at a Farmington intersection near the Colt Highway.

Police say the driver, 21-year-old Jacob Coffey, was going 82 miles an hour, drove through a red light, and his blood alcohol was twice the legal limit.

Police also found empty containers of beer and alcohol in Coffey’s jeep.

When Luke didn’t come home from the game, Carri checked her phone to see where he was.

“I went to Find My Friend and saw his dot wasn’t moving and it wasn’t moving so I tried calling,” Carri said. “Then I got in the car and drove there.”

“She knew something was wrong and drove to the scene,” said Stephen.

Jacob Coffey had been at the Xfinity Theatre to see Dierks Bentley’s “Beers on Me” tour stop.

Luke’s parents have filed a lawsuit against Jacob Coffey, the firm providing security at the concert, and Live Nation Worldwide, the owner of the theatre.

In the filing against Live Nation, they claim:

“The … collision and the catastrophic fatal injuries … were caused by the negligence and carelessness of the defendant.”

They said Coffey was tailgating and had been drinking excessively before the country western concert and was so intoxicated he was denied entry and was combative before he was allowed to drive off.

The Roux’s lawsuit alleges:

” … they knew, or should have known, the risks attendant to tailgating”…” “and that patrons would consume alcohol excessively on the premises.”

And specifically:

” … they knew, or should have known, that Mr. Coffey was intoxicated and presented a foreseeable risk to others.”

Eyewitness News reached out to Live Nation in early December to get their response to the lawsuit. They said: “Jacob Coffey was denied entry to the venue due to intoxication.”

A few days later they provided a new statement, saying the “Xfinity Theater has no record of Jacob Coffey being denied entry, being at the venue or being intoxicated at the venue.”

The Rouxs hope this lawsuit will bring more awareness to what’s happening before, during and after these concerts. They want people to plan ahead and have a designated driver.

“If just one family hears this and makes a change and one life is saved, we’ve done something,” said Carri.

The roux’s are also honoring their son. They’ve created the Luke Roux memorial fund. It supports drunk driving prevention and youth sports.

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