Suit: Drunk driver and bar to blame for fatal crash

SHARE Suit: Drunk driver and bar to blame for fatal crash

A driver and the bar he was drinking at before he was involved in a fatal crash are responsible for the July death of a 77-year-old man, a lawsuit filed Thursday claims.

Pawel Brzek filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of his father, 77-year-old Jozef Brzek. Pawel Brzek is also named as a plaintiff, as well as Brzek’s wife, Ewa Brzek and his daughter, Anna Walkosz.

On July 1, Brzek was riding passenger as his wife drove a 2002 Ford Taurus southwest State Road near Mayfield Avenue, the suit said.

About 6:45 p.m., another vehicle headed northeast on State crossed into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on with the Taurus, authorities said at the time.

Brzek, of Chicago, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died July 5 at 9:19 a.m., the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

An autopsy found Brzek died of multiple injuries and listed heart disease as a secondary factor. His death was ruled an accident, the medical examiner’s office said.

The driver, 42-year-old Nicholas Raspanti, was charged with two counts of aggravated DUI and was ordered held on $500,000 bond, according to police and the Cook County Sheriff’s office. Court records do not indicate a ruling has been made on the case.

The suit alleges Raspanti was negligently driving, but it also holds Kowal’s Bar and Grill in south suburban Hickory Hills responsible for serving him drinks that night before the accident.

Wrongful death and negligence are among the claims made in the seven-count suit, which demands at least $350,000 in damages.

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