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Mom sues store, homeowner over son's death

VALRICO — The mother of a 17-year-old killed in a crash two years ago is suing the store that she says sold alcohol to her underage son.

Denise Clark, mother of Tyler Clark, also is suing the woman who owns the house where Tyler drank with friends on Oct. 7, 2006, before driving away in his Jeep with seven other teens. The Jeep hit a median on Bloomingdale Avenue, swerved off the road and into a tree. Tyler was pronounced dead at the scene.

In April, Tara McEntarffer was found not guilty of supplying alcohol to minors. Several teens testified that she broke up the party when she returned home and found them drinking beer.

But the civil complaint, filed Sept. 9, says Tyler drank with McEntarffer's "knowledge and consent" and that she knew he was going to drive intoxicated.

Clark is seeking more than $15,000 in damages from McEntarffer and the store she says sold Tyler alcohol, Beverage Express, just south of E Brandon Boulevard and west of Lithia Pinecrest Road.

The lawsuit says a Beverage Express employee either looked at Tyler's drivers' license, which showed he was 17, or should have because he looked young. Still, they let him purchase a "significant amount of alcohol," the complaint states.

An autopsy found Tyler was driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 percent. State law presumes a driver is impaired at 0.08 percent and above.

Mom sues store, homeowner over son's death 09/27/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 2, 2008 10:51am]
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