Las Vegas Sun

June 27, 2019

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Booze was flowing at golf event before fatal DUI crash, lawsuit says

From morning to late afternoon, alcohol was readily available at the golf charity event. It flowed in a restaurant, at the clubhouse, from kiosk-style machines, and it was served at each hole, according to court documents.

And Metro Police allege it also flowed through Scott Gragson’s system as he took the wheel of his Range Rover, causing a crash so violent that three of his four passengers were thrown from the vehicle.

Melissa Newton, 36, died at the scene, and Wednesday — 13 days after the fatal crash in his Summerlin community, The Ridges — attorneys representing one of the surviving victims filed a lawsuit on his behalf against the 53-year-old DUI suspect and Gragson Data SS, a limited liability company registered in Nevada.

Christopher Bentley, 50, was hospitalized with serious injuries, police said. The lawsuit, which is seeking an unspecified amount of monetary compensation, claims he “suffered severe agonizing, internal and external personal injuries, severe shock to his nervous system, as well as great pain and suffering.”

He has also lost wages because of the crash and is expected to lose more moving forward, according to the lawsuit. Gragson, who was one of the organizers of the Links for Life tournament, was arrested after the 4:48 p.m. May 30 crash on Granite Ridge Way, police said.

The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has since charged him with three felony counts each of DUI and reckless driving. He is free in lieu of a $250,000 bond. He surrendered his passport and has to wear a gadget that monitors alcohol consumption.

An arrest report alleges that Gragson was leading a caravan after the golfing event to his neighborhood that is guard-gated. Police said the suspect tried to have the guard waive his visitors’ check-in, but was denied.

That’s when the angry Gragson floored the pedal of his luxury SUV, entering the gated compound at high speeds, said police, noting that the limit was 25 mph.

The lawsuit alleges Gragson surpassed 75 mph when he lost control and his SUV tore into some trees.

Gragson failed multiple sobriety tests, police said. He admitted to drinking up to five mixed drinks and beer at the golf event, noting he stopped drinking more than two hours before the crash.