Two South Philly bars asked to preserve evidence in hit-and-run that killed ballerina

    While 19-year-old Deandre Barnes remains behind bars in connection with the fatal Broad Street hit-and-run of a Rock School ballet student in March, two South Philadelphia bars have received legal notices related to a pending civil suit.

    Stacey Witalec, director of external affairs for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, confirmed to NewsWorks Wednesday that “right to know law” requests regarding licensing history and any records of incident reports, citations, “egregious activity, community complaints or any other [LCB] oversight” had been filed.

    Listed in those requests, which cite victim Polina Kadiyska by name, were T-Barr’s Bar at S. Eighth and Jackson streets and Frantic Nightclub at 2514 S. 24th St. Information was also requested about the American Legion Post 153, on whose premises Frantic operates.

    Where did Barnes drink?

    After his arrest in connection with the March 18 incident that killed Kadiyska, Barnes’ blood alcohol content registered .156, according to preliminary hearing testimony from Accident Investigation Unit Officer Thomas O’Neill.

    The bars received registered letters ordering them to not destroy any evidence which could potentially indicate that the driver, who was underage, had been served alcohol at their establishments that night. Evidence of that nature could come into play in civil litigation.

    Tom Barr, who said he has operated T-Barr since 1967, said Barnes was not served in his establishment.

    “I feel sorry for that girl and her family. I asked neighbors if they knew about him, showed his picture to my bartender. There were three or four people in here that night, and nobody saw him,” Barr told NewsWorks on Wednesday. “He’s 19 years old. He damn sure didn’t get served in here.

    “I don’t have insurance, so they wouldn’t get any money, but if the cameras were working, they would show that he wasn’t here. It’s a fishing expedition.”

    Robert Sachs, the attorney who filed the LCB request on April 26, declined comment this week. Witalec said the bureau has a June 2 deadline to provide the information.

    Attempts to reach Frantic and the American Legion post for comment were unsuccessful.

    A split-second view of the Audi

    Testimony in the criminal case indicates Kadiyska tried but failed to jump out of the way of the Audi driven by, and registered to, Barnes.

    As the Bulgarian-born woman wn a crosswalk at Broad and Ellsworth streets, she saw the vehicle speeding through the red light for a split-second before it struck her.

    O’Neill testified that the aspiring ballerina, who would die from severe trauma at Thomas Jefferson Hospital several days later, was found 150 feet from the point of impact.

    The driver of the car and a passenger ran from the scene.  Reports from people who witnessed the accident led police to Barnes, whom they found nearby.

    “Polina’s parents never had the chance to visit Philadelphia to watch her dance,” someone close to the Kadiyska family said last week. Coming to see her in the hospital “was their first time here. It’s a tragic loss for the entire city, even if they don’t go to the ballet often, to lose someone with such promise.”

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.