Family speaks out months after deadly crash in Collier County

Author: Jillian Haggerty
Published: Updated:

A family who lost one of their loved ones in a tragic crash is speaking out.

Back in October, Jona Bejko died after driving into a drainage canal. She had just left Señor Tequila in Collier County.

This is the first time her parents have spoken out since the accident.

Her mother said it’s a nightmare no family should ever have to go through. This is why they are going through with a lawsuit and sending a message to raise awareness.

“She wanted to celebrate with some old friends, and the bartender started serving her margarita after margarita after margarita until it became visibly clear that she was visibly intoxicated,” said Pedro Echarte, the family’s lawyer.

This wasn’t Bejko’s first time here, and she used to work there.

Señor Tequila
Señor Tequila. CREDIT: WINK News

“When she was a minor child, they would serve her alcohol. Her mother thought she would be going to work here, and yes, she was working, but she was also drinking,” Echarte said.

Her mother said she had no idea and feels like she failed to protect her daughter.

“That night still haunts me every single day. I wake up with it, and I go to bed and cannot sleep,” said Harta Bejko.

The family’s attorney said they served her beyond the point of intoxication and watched her get into the car, drive away and make it just two miles up the road before crashing into the canal.

“I was with her on the phone. I called her, and she picked up. She was in the canal. She was screaming and crying. She knew it was her last moments,” Harta said.

Jona’s final words: “She said, ‘I’m sorry, Momma. I’m drowning. I love you,'” Harta said.

The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit to hold staff and owners of bars responsible.

“The law in this state prohibits the service of alcohol to minors and prohibits the service of alcohol to those habitually addicted to alcohol, and Señor Tequila violated both those laws,” Echarte said.

Harta’s message: “No family should go through this, and bars should serve alcohol responsibly.”

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