PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The family of a little girl killed by a drunk driver is speaking out today after a restaurant on the South Side agreed to pay a settlement of more than $15 million in connection with the girl’s death.
The restaurant apologized and agreed to make some changes. The South Park family who lost their7-year-old daughter to a drunk driver held an emotional press conference Wednesday morning.
Nicole Cleland was driving on Carson Street around 10:15 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2010. She was with her 7-year-old daughter, Lexa. They were on their way to pick up her husband and Lexa’s father, Mark, when Travis Isiminger’s truck hit their car.
Isiminger was drunk and just left the Hofbrauhaus restaurant and bar on the South Side.
Lexa was killed, as was the unborn baby Nicole was carrying. Hofbrauhaus apologized and settled paying $15.6 million dollars.
“Jack and Steve said that a lot of this was about making changes. But, for Nicole and I, now there’s a dollar figure. To us, it’s like blood money on our children and there’s a lot of guilt that goes along with that right now,” Mark Cleland said.
“Part of the settlement that we demanded was that changes happen at this bar and this establishment and the changes happen for a reason. We do not want to see Lexa die in vain,” Jack Goodrich said.
Changes include the restaurant having a responsible alcohol management training program and that the restaurant also develop a designated driver program.
Nicole said she has forgiven Isiminger, but Mark has not.
“We both thought this would be the end of a chapter, but for Nicole and I it’s kind of like blood money on our children,” he said.
Isiminger is serving 6 to 12 years in prison.