Family sues bar after woman was killed by alleged drunken driver, left for 7 days in Socastee ditch

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SOCASTEE, SC (WBTW) – The family of a woman left in a ditch for a week after allegedly being hit by a drunken driver has filed suit against a bar near Myrtle Beach.

The family claims, in a lawsuit filed in Horry County court last week, that Danny Lee’s Place was negligent for over-serving the alleged driver. Rachel King, 28, was killed after a pedestrian crash just off of Highway 544 in Socastee during August of 2018, according to police, but her body wasn’t found until a week later.

In the suit, the family of King claims this series of events happened:

  • A woman named Margaret Burris was drinking at Danny Lee’s Place in Socastee on Aug 11.
  • Burris drank and the bar “continued to serve Burris even after she became intoxicated.”
  • Burris left and while driving herself home, she struck King, “killing her and throwing her body into a ditch along Peachtree Road.”
  • Burris left the scene and did not report the crash until Aug. 18, a week later.
  • Due to the failure to report the crash, King’s body was not found until a week after. 
  • Burris admitted to South Carolina law enforcement that she consumed mixed drinks at Danny Lee’s, prior to driving herself home.

A 13-year-old found King’s body while he rode his bike along Peachtree Road, according to police. The road is described by SCDOT as having narrow shoulders. According to the State Department of Public Safety, 58 collisions were reported on Peachtree Road between 2007 and 2017. Two of those crashes were deadly, and 22 left someone injured.

Burris was never criminally charged in connection with the death of King and settled with representatives of King’s estate out of court in June 2019 for $50,000.

The lawsuit states, according to South Carolina common law and alcohol control statutes, Danny Lee’s bar is responsible for any server or employee serving alcohol to Burris and is therefore vicariously liable. Bartenders or servers knew or should have known Burris was grossly intoxicated, the suit claims. 

Representatives of King’s estate are asking for an unspecified amount of money.

News13 reached out to Danny Lee’s Place for comment and left a message with an employee who answered the phone, but has not heard back. 

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