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Lawsuit filed in deadly horse-drawn carriage crash

Thursday, August 23, 2012

One month after a deadly carriage crash in Galveston, we're learning of new developments in the case. On July 21, a car slammed into a horse drawn carriage on the island at the intersection of 21st Street and Avenue L.

The mother who was critically injured in that crash is still recovering at home. The family has sued the alleged drunken driver and the bar they claim sold him the drinks.

At All About Carpet and Floors Thursday night, the door never stayed shut. There was a constant stream of foot traffic. People squeezed in, not to buy carpet this trip, but to help.

"I'm here to support this family," family friend Suzanne Fuqua said.

They bid on silent auction items and opened their pocketbooks all in the name of Renee and Bob McKelvey, a Sugar Land couple celebrating Renee's birthday in Galveston last month when a horse-drawn carriage ride turned deadly.

Police say an intoxicated Michael Grayson barreled into the back of the carriage along 21st Street. Bob died. Renee was critically injured.

"She's a very tough woman and she'll make it," said Steven McKelvey, Renee and Bob's son.

And so will the family business vows the couple's two sons, though it's been hard.

"My father was the face of All About Carpet," Fuqua said.

With Bob gone and Renee still recovering, they've had to step up to maintain what their parents have built over the last 20 years, all while facing mounting medical bills.

"It's our family business and we got to keep it running. That's our family name and it's here to stay," Steven said.

They are also seeking help from the court, suing not only Grayson but also the bar, the lounge and its TABC license holder. It's believed Grayson spent the hours before the crash at that bar.

"In this case, the lounge continued to serve Mike Grayson long after they should have cut him off," said the family's attorney, S. Scott West.

The defendant's attorney never responded to our request for comment.

Now, a month after the crash, the sons were just trying to stay positive, having a rare moment of fun in the wake of so much heartbreak.

"Life is fragile, enjoy every minute with the people you care about," Steven said.

The carriage driver and another passenger were also injured. The horse died as well.

Meanwhile, Grayson is still behind bars at the Galveston County Jail.

A fund has been set up at Wells Fargo to assist the McKelvey family. Donations may made by contacting any Wells Fargo Bank and indicating the donation is for the "McKelvey Family Donation Fund."

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