Bar: "Jackass" star didn't seem drunk

Posted: June 23, 2011

OVER THE course of four hours Sunday night into Monday, employees at Barnaby's of America in West Chester served Ryan Dunn six shots and two beers, but the "Jackass" star never appeared visibly intoxicated.

Then there were the drinks at the back table.

At the end of the night, out of the bartender's sight, friends and fans bought Dunn, 34, three more drinks before he got behind the wheel of his high-powered Porsche 911 GT3, according to Sgt. William La Torre, of the State Police Bureau of Liquor Enforcement.

Dunn's blood-alcohol level was 0.196, more than double Pennsylvania's .08 legal limit, according to toxicology results released yesterday by West Goshen police.

An accident re-creation team determined that Dunn's Porsche was traveling between 132 and 140 mph on Route 322 when he may have tried to brake to turn onto Pottstown Pike. The move sent the car skidding more than 100 feet into a wooded area where it burst into flames, killing him and friend Zachary Hartwell, 30.

"He spoke clearly. He walked clearly. He came in hop, skip, jumping. He left hop, skip, jumping," said Frank Herron, Barnaby's general manager. "If these results are true, I'm shocked at it. We were very confident that he had not had that much."

La Torre said last night that Barnaby's would not face punishment, since they didn't serve Dunn while he appeared intoxicated.

That was no solace for the hundreds of mourners who showed up at a private, closed-casket viewing for Dunn last night at the DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith and Boyd Funeral Home in West Chester.

"Jackass" stars Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera, and Margera's parents, April and Phil, attended the viewing. Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton, stars of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," were also there.

While friends and family gathered at the funeral home, groups of Dunn's fans met at a roadside memorial to leave flowers, snap photos, sign the guardrail near the accident scene, and to cry.

Kevin Mitchell drove about two hours from Ridgely, Md., and knelt silently in front of a collection of photos, flowers and two wooden crosses posted on the guardrail near the crash site.

"I always remember joking that one of these guys is going to get killed with all the stunts that they do," he said.

Other fans said that, given the nature of the accident, they weren't surprised to hear that Dunn was drunk at the time.

"But driving down a road like this at 130 miles an hour, that just boggles my mind - especially when you have a passenger in your car that you're responsible for," said Eileen Klemm of West Chester. "So I have mixed feelings."

In 2005, police in West Whiteland arrested Dunn for DUI, according to court records. He later took part in an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program.

The Inquirer reported that in the last 13 years, Dunn had been cited at least 23 times for driving offenses, including 10 stops for speeding and careless driving.

Some say Dunn's accident adds renewed relevance to drinking-and-driving messages, but the message still doesn't seem to fully resonate with some of his fans.

"It's not something that would stop me from going home after a few drinks," Mitchell said, standing a few feet from an empty beer can resting in the ditch where Dunn crashed.

But, "If I thought I was anywhere near intoxicated - fully intoxicated - I would probably think twice."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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