World of Beer bartender charged for allegedly overserving driver accused in deadly crash

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ByMiya Shay via KTRK logo
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
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A month after a good Samaritan was hit and killed by a bartender, the suspect's co-worker is now facing charges of overserving him.

CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- A bartender is charged with a liquor violation after he allegedly overserved a driver in a deadly crash that happened in January.

Miguel Rizo, a bartender at World of Beer, was arrested Sunday night. Rizo is accused of overserving Zachary Castro, who deputies say slammed into people trying to help a disabled car in the 5100 block of Barker Cypress in northwest Harris County on Jan. 26.

On Monday, the Harris County District Attorney's Office revealed Castro was also a bartender at World of Beer, but was not working on the night of the incident.

Authorities say Castro could be seen visibly intoxicated on surveillance video at the Cypress-area bar.

They say he is seen stumbling and staggering around the bar and having difficulty getting out of the door.

Rizo was charged with two misdemeanor liquor violations: Providing alcohol to an intoxicated person and permitting an intoxicated person to remain on the premises. If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail.

"The death and terrible injuries inflicted on these Good Samaritans could have been avoided," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. "Drunk driving deaths are completely preventable."

"We want to go after the people who contribute to the worst crashes," said prosecutor Sean Teare, head of the Vehicular Crimes Division in the district attorney's office. "We're not going after someone unless you see the tragedy on the roads."

ORIGINAL STORY: 'It was terrible,' Victim recalls moment alleged drunk driver slammed into good Samaritans

Court records state 23-year-old Mayra Ospina, her boyfriend and a couple of other drivers pulled over on Barker Cypress to help a disabled vehicle in a ditch.

As they tried to help, they soon realized the car was abandoned and the driver was nowhere to be found. While the good Samaritans stood outside their cars, Castro plowed into them in his pickup truck, according to records.

Ospina was thrown over the hood of Castro's truck and into the ditch when it veered off the road. She was later declared brain dead at a hospital and passed away soon after.

Ospina's boyfriend, Luis Ramirez, survived the crash. After spending three weeks in the hospital for multiple injuries, he was able to return home in February to recover.

MORE: Family of woman left brain dead after crash: 'We just want 1 more day'

Ramirez has sued, claiming Castro was drinking at World of Beer in Cypress, where he also worked.

The lawsuit claims the restaurant is liable for its employees' negligent acts.

A spokesman for World of Beer told ABC13, "We're deeply saddened by the tragic event. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We are cooperating with authorities and providing all requested information. We cannot comment further on pending litigation."

Castro is no longer an employee, the spokesman said.

The lawsuit is seeking damages for medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

Court records show Castro told investigators he drank six beers and four shots before driving.

Following the crash, Castro's charges were upgraded from intoxication assault to intoxication manslaughter after Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that Ospina was brain dead.

The video above is from a previous story.

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