B98.5 radio host may sue bars after crash

ATLANTA — Kelly Stevens, the morning radio host of B98.5, may be suing two bars after he was struck by an alleged drunk driver.

The driver was going the wrong way on Georgia Highway 400 when she crashed into him August 24 and died.

Stevens' attorney, Forrest Johnson, said he has a private investigator on the case who can prove that 22-year-old Carly Royball had been drinking at two different bars before the crash.

"I wasn't surprised," Stevens told Channel 2's Craig Lucie after finding out alcohol was found in Royball's system.

But what was surprising to Stevens is just how much alcohol police said Royball consumed that night. A toxicology report showed her blood alcohol content was .219, nearly three times the legal limit of .08.

"I was disappointed. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If it hadn't been me, it would have been somebody else," said Stevens.

Stevens grimaced with pain as a therapist helped him rehab his shattered elbow Friday. X-rays showed numerous metal screws and plates holding his arm and leg bones in place.

"I'm completely dependent on other people. I can't walk. I can't bathe myself. I can't go to the bathroom. I can't feed myself. You feel like a burden all the time. It's frustrating, but it's a blessing to be alive. I'm grateful for that every day. There are some days that it just gets overwhelming," Stevens said.

Stevens said he is just focusing on his recovery. He hired Johnson to focus on the things he's not ready to deal with. Johnson told Lucie the bars that served Royball before the crash are responsible.

"Her BAC was almost three times the limit. We also know that she had been drinking at two well-known establishments prior to her driving on the Georgia 400. We are filing a lawsuit against the establishments that served the young lady alcohol. It's important to note this. It's almost impossible not to have observed that she was intoxicated. We are pursuing a legal case of one, if not two, against the establishments that gave her alcohol," Johnson told Lucie.

Johnson wouldn't name the bars, and Sandy Springs police said they don't know where Royball was drinking before the crash.

Lucie went to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office Friday morning where he obtained their report.

The report said Royball's stepmother had contemplated putting her in alcohol treatment, and the 22-year-old had a past history of excessive alcohol consumption. The medical examiner also wrote that her drug screen was negative, but her urine alcohol screen was positive.

Lucie also got in touch with her stepmother, Carol Ryball, in Arizona.

"Carly really was trying to turn her life around. We had been trying to get her help, and we know that she was trying to turn her life around. She was a good person. She was a very smart girl, and I hate that her life ended with people judging her," she said.

She went on to say that she is sorry about what happened to Stevens, and she and her husband are still trying to gather the facts about the case.

Stevens told Lucie that if his doctors clear him, he hopes to broadcast for B98.5 from home next week.

"I really do miss being on-air, so I'm hoping we get a good report from the doctor.  I miss the listeners. I miss having a job. It's frustrating," said Stevens.

He told Lucie he has learned a few things through this traumatizing experience.

"I have learned that life is more precious than I can ever imagine. It can change in a heartbeat. It can be taken away in a heartbeat," said Stevens.