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Stratham restaurant accused of over-serving alcohol to 3 men killed in crash

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent

August 22. 2017 12:18PM
Three young men died as a result of the Feb. 29, 2016, rollover crash on Route 108 in Kensington. (NH STATE POLICE)

BRENTWOOD — A Stratham restaurant has been indicted on charges it over-served alcohol to three young friends from East Kingston who later died in a rollover crash in Kensington.

Alan Yang Inc., which does business as Jade Palace, was indicted by a Rockingham County grand jury this month on four felony counts of prohibited sales.

Restaurant owner Alan Yang of Malden, Mass., has also been charged individually with misdemeanor prohibited sales for allegedly serving three Zombie drinks each to Malachi Davis, 21, Hunter Vars, 21, and Jack Perreault, 20, within the span of an hour and 15 minutes.

The restaurant, located at 28 Portsmouth Ave., and Yang are also accused of serving alcohol to a minor because Perreault was underage.

"The law makes it a felony for a business to sell alcohol to a person who is under 21 or to an individual who is visibly intoxicated or who a reasonable and prudent person would know is intoxicated. RSA 179:5, I is a strict liability statute — meaning that the state is not required to allege and or prove a particular mental state," Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway said.

A woman who answered the phone Tuesday at the restaurant said Yang was not available for comment.

At the time of the deadly crash on Feb. 29, 2016, state police said the friends were riding in a black 2001 Toyota 4Runner headed south on North Haverhill Road (Route 108) when the SUV missed a right-hand curve and left the road.

The vehicle hit several trees and rolled several times; the three inside were thrown from the vehicle.

State police Capt. Chris Vetter said the agency's Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit determined that Perreault was driving at the time of the crash.

The indictments allege that Yang should have known that the three men were intoxicated when they were served a third Zombie drink, which has four ounces of alcohol.

"A reasonable and prudent person would have known that .... (the men) would have become intoxicated after consuming the first two Zombie drinks within said time frame," the indictments state.

The restaurant has faced prior liquor license violations.

Conway said the lengthy investigation was necessary in order to obtain all of the information needed to prosecute.

"Generally speaking, investigations can take longer periods of time when the state seeks expert opinions (and/or) reports," she said.

The investigation involved state police, the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, and the Stratham and Kensington police departments.

jschreiber@newstote.com


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