A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lexington bar ‘overserved’ alcohol to man who later caused deadly I-75 crash, says ABC; pre-hearing set

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

A Lexington bar is accused of overserving alcohol to a man who later caused a wrongway crash on I-75 that killed him and five members of a Michigan family, earlier this month.

The Lexington Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has issued a show cause order to Horseshoes Kentucky Grill and Saloon, located at 1987 North Broadway, under the state law that bans selling alcoholic beverages to patrons who are under the influence.

Lexington police say after leaving Horseshoes early on the morning of Jan. 6, it is believed that Joey Lee Bailey, 41, of Georgetown drove his 2015 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck onto the northbound lanes of I-75 beginning at the 113- mile marker (N. Broadway/Paris Pike ramp). Several motorists reported passing or avoiding Bailey as he drove the wrong way and told officers that the truck had one headlight out.

Bailey hit an SUV head-on, causing the SUV to catch fire. He and all five members of the Abbas family – Issam Abbas, 42; Dr. Rima Abbas, 38; and their children Ali, 14; Isabella, 13; and Giselle, 7, were killed. They were residents of Northville, Michigan, outside Detroit, and were returning from a vacation in Florida.

A review of the truck’s event data recorder by the police department’s Collision Reconstruction Unit found that Bailey was driving at interstate speeds of 70-80 miles per hour when the collision occurred.

According to a toxicology report from the Fayette County Coroner’s Office, Bailey had a blood alcohol level of .306 at the time of the crash, more than three and a half times the level at which someone is presumed drunk by law in Kentucky. Investigators from the Lexington Police Department found evidence that Bailey had been drinking at Horseshoes and another bar outside of Lexington the night of the crash.

A pre-hearing conference between the Lexington ABC office and Horseshoes is scheduled for Feb. 19. A separate investigation by Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control is ongoing.

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