TABC Investigating Irving Canal Crash

Blood alcohol levels of people killed in crash more than twice the legal limit

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is investigating whether three people killed in an Irving car crash last month were overserved.

    Ronald Eddins, 41, of Southlake; Kenneth Lark, 23, of Austin; and his girlfriend, Kaat Debeuckelaer, 21, of Colleyville; died in the Jan. 4 crash at a Las Colinas canal.

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    TABC investigators are working to piece together the events that lead to a crash in an Irving canal that killed three people.

    Police say toxicology reports show that blood alcohol levels for all three were twice the legal limit.

    The legal standard is 0.08. Eddins' blood alcohol level was 0.17, Lark's was 0.19 and, Debeuckelaer's was 0.25.

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    Police won't estimate how fast Ronald Eddins was driving but say it was well over the posted limit.

    TABC is trying to determine if they were overserved that night.

    "We look, possibly, for receipts of drinks that were purchased," 

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    Lt. Jeff Gladden said. "We'll try to find any and all witnesses that we can that can describe how long they were there."

    Debeuckelaer and Lark started their evening at Dallas Stars game at American Airlines Center.

    The couple met Eddins later at the Copland Bar at the Southlake Hilton Hotel, where Eddins was living at the time. He recently separated from his wife and was going through a divorce.

    Police said Debeuckelaer called her sister in California at about midnight. She  told her sister that she and Lark had met "a really cool attorney who is buying their drinks," according to an Irving police report.

    At about 1 a.m., the trio went to the Men's Club, where Eddins was considered a regular patron, and continued drinking.

    The trio were last seen leaving the Men's Club, a Dallas strip club, at about 2:43 a.m. Surveillance cameras showed them getting into Eddins' car.

    Minutes after later, Eddins crashed his Porsche sedan into a canal near Spur 348 and Riverside Drive. Police said Eddins was driving so fast that the vehicle went airborne, flying some 94 feet before landing in the canal.

    Gladden said the TABC will investigate the AAC, the hotel bar and the Men's Club. Finding eyewitnesses who actually saw the three drinking or who served them drinks will be key, especially if the alcohol was purchased on one tab.

    The investigation could take months if agents have to obtain bank statements to verify receipts.

    If investigators determine that an establishment served the three after they were impaired, they could recommend that the state suspend or cancel its liquor license.


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