BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The family of an Indiana University student who was hit and killed by a drunk driver in September 2022 is suing Kilroy’s Sports Bar and alleging that the bar played a role in the student’s death by failing to adhere to Indiana law that prohibits bars from over-serving patrons.
Madelyn N. Howard, 22, of Crown Point is charged with multiple felonies in connection to the hit-and-run death of 20-year-old Nathaniel Stratton on Sept. 18, 2022. Howard was intoxicated and behind the wheel at 2 a.m. when she hit Stratton and fled the scene, according to witnesses.
Stratton was riding an electric scooter in the bike lane when Howard veered in the lane and struck him, according to reports. She continued driving down the road with the scooter dragging underneath her Mercedes-Benz.
According to the lawsuit, Howard was an employee at Kilroy’s Sports Bar and had been drinking at the establishment prior to hitting Stratton with her car. Howard wasn’t working on Sept. 18, but was said to be visibly intoxicated. Kilroy’s continued to serve her alcohol, anyway, the lawsuit alleges, despite an Indiana law that prohibits bars from serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons.
After being taken into custody on Sept. 18, Howard was taken to IU Health Bloomington Hospital for a blood draw. Her blood alcohol content was found to be .226 percent, almost three times the legal limit.
“The Stratton family’s goal is to prevent anyone else from suffering the unnecessary and devasting loss of a loved one,” said Fred Schultz, an attorney representing the Stratton family.
“Drunk driving is a known danger that must be taken seriously by all of us in Bloomington, including the business community,” he added. “The Strattons believe Ms. Howard should receive the maximum criminal penalty for her actions and also seek to hold Madelyn Howard and Kilroy’s Sports Bar accountable for Nate Stratton’s tragic death in civil court.”
Howard is currently free on bond and awaiting trial.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Bloomington Police Department at (812) 339-4477.