Wrongful death suit transferred to Canadian County

Civil action stems from deadly 2018 crash; jury trial set in criminal case

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By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a deadly 2018 crash near El Reno was transferred June 22 to Canadian County.

Kristin Flores, the widow of Bryan Flores, is plaintiff in a civil suit originally filed Nov. 6, 2020, in Pushmataha County District Court. Defendants are Chance Girten and Lyanna’s Lakeside LLC.

The case stems from a traffic collision the occurred shortly after midnight Nov. 10, 2018, on Cedar Road near S.W. 15th.

Bryan Flores, 34, died from injuries sustained in the crash. He was a passenger in a 2012 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Girten, then 22, after they left Lyanna’s Lakeside Bar & Grill in Hinton.

Pushmataha County District Judge Michael D. DeBerry on Feb. 8 signed an order transferring the case to Canadian County, granting defendant Girten’s transfer motion.

Girten, of Clayton in Pushmataha County, was charged Jan. 18, 2019, with first-degree manslaughter in Canadian County District Court.

A jury trial for Girten is set to start Sept. 13 before District Judge Jack D. McCurdy. The trial date has been continued several times since fall 2020.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff claims Girten became intoxicated after being “continuously” served alcohol by Lyanna’s Lakeside’s staff. Kristin Flores, personal representative of her late husband’s estate, is represented by attorney Zachary T. Barron of the Barron Law Firm in Claremore.

The Caddo County business “had a duty to use ordinary care not to serve alcohol to Girten, who such employees and agents knew or reasonably should have known was already intoxicated,” the suit reads.

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100 MILES PER HOUR

Allegations against Girten are detailed in a probable cause affidavit signed by Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Matthew Conway, who investigated the fatal crash that occurred about 12:20 a.m. Nov. 10, 2018, southeast of El Reno.

“Girten, while traveling northbound on Cedar Road (from Lyanna’s Lakeside Bar & Grill), failed to negotiate the left-hand curve,” according to trooper Conway’s January 2019 affidavit. “Girten departed the roadway right striking multiple trees and a fence before coming to rest below the curve in the roadway in an agricultural field.”

Bryan Flores, of Kellyville in Creek County, died at the scene from head and neck injuries sustained in the crash.

During the investigation, trooper Conway learned Girten’s 2012 Dodge Ram pickup was traveling about 100 miles per hour when the collision occurred.

The OHP investigator also learned that Girten, Flores and coworkers after dinner had traveled to Lyanna’s Lakeside near Cedar Lake where Girten “consumed a large amount of alcoholic beverages.”

Girten’s blood alcohol content was reportedly .22 when he arrived by ambulance at an Oklahoma City hospital and .185 in an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations (OSBI) blood draw, according to the affidavit.

In his answer to the lawsuit filed Dec. 2, 2020, defendant Girten denies the allegations he was intoxicated or under the influence. He is represented by attorney Kayce L. Gisinger of Phillips Murrah P.C. in Oklahoma City.

The defense claims the injuries and damages cited in the plaintiff’s lawsuit “were proximately caused by the negligence and fault” of Flores or other people or organizations for whom Girten is not legally responsible.

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