February 21, 2024
Coban Porter overserved before alleged DUI crash, lawsuits claim

Coban Porter, brother to Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr., killed a woman in a drunk-driving crash less than a mile away from the bar where he was overserved, and had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit after the crash, according to allegations in a pair of lawsuits filed against Porter and the bar where he drank that night.

The 22-year-old former basketball player for the University of Denver was charged with killing Kathy Limon Rothman, 42, just before 2 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2023, when police say he ran a red light and crashed into her vehicle at the intersection of South University and Buchtel boulevards. Rothman was working as an Uber driver at the time, and the passenger she was transporting, Jason Blanch, was seriously injured in the crash but lived.

Rothman’s family and Blanch brought the lawsuits Thursday and Sunday against Porter and against the Crimson and Gold Tavern on South University Boulevard, a sports bar that caters to students at the University of Denver. The lawsuits allege that Porter was overserved at the tavern, and that the bar staff continued to serve Porter even after he was “visibly intoxicated.”

Crimson and Gold Tavern, which calls itself “The Denver Pioneers’ Hometown bar,” is owned by Potter Restaurant Group, according to the Colorado Secretary of State. Representatives for the bar did not return messages left Monday seeking comment.

Porter left the bar just before it closed at 2 a.m. and crashed minutes later, according to the lawsuits. Denver police said Porter was driving at 50 mph in a 30 mph zone and had “bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred and mumbling speech, and the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath,” according to an affidavit.

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The lawsuits allege Porter had a blood alcohol level of .20, more than twice the legal limit of .08, and that he refused “to cooperate with” a field sobriety test. Porter was at the time a student at the University of Denver; he left the school in early 2023.

Porter was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of assault after the crash. The criminal case is pending and he is scheduled to appear in Denver District Court for a disposition hearing on Feb. 8.

Harvey Steinberg, Porter’s attorney in the criminal case, did not immediately return a request for comment Monday.

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