Turned away on their first attempt to buy alcohol, teenage buddies Jacob Dickmeyer and Colby Burke returned to the Fire Barn Bar & Grill in Waterloo about four hours later.
On that second visit, about 8:30 p.m. Sunday — when the main waitresses and bartenders were off duty — the young men were served by a waitress friend, said Fire Barn co-owner Steve Franson.
He said the waitress also gave Dickmeyer, 18, and Burke, 19, the keys to her 2004 Saturn Ion.
With Dickmeyer at the wheel, Omaha police say, the teenagers from Valley headed east on West Dodge Road before crashing early Monday at 208th Street in a single-vehicle rollover.
The wreck killed Dickmeyer and left Burke with a broken pelvis and head injuries.
Police said alcohol containers, including a nearly empty bottle of Jagermeister, were found at the crash scene.
Video surveillance at the bar showed the teens drinking before the crash, according to a police affidavit requesting a search warrant for the car.
The affidavit also says Burke told police that he and Dickmeyer had been drinking and that waitress Amanda Heiman, 20, had served them drinks.
Terry Dickmeyer, 42, father of Jacob, said he and his son worked together at Valmont Industries.
He said Jacob “was the glue that held this family together. What happened was out of his character.''
Franson, 56, is a retired Omaha firefighter. He co-owns the Waterloo Fire Barn and two other Fire Barn restaurants in Omaha and Papillion with his firefighter son-in-law, Travis Harlow.
Franson said in an interview that he had been told that the young men borrowed Heiman's car to pick up another friend and that they were to return to the Fire Barn to meet with Heiman.
Terry Dickmeyer said he believes Burke was supposed to take his son home, and then Heiman was to drive Burke home.
Franson said the young men apparently needed a car because they had been dropped off at the Fire Barn.
“She made a bad decision,'' Franson said of Heiman.
He said the woman's lawyer told the Fire Barn that she had quit her job. Heiman could not be reached for comment Thursday night.
Prosecutor Matt Kuhse, a deputy Douglas County attorney, said Friday he was awaiting reports before deciding whether Heiman will face charges.
Under state law, it is a misdemeanor to sell or provide alcohol to a minor. However, the Nebraska Legislature recently passed a law making it a felony if that minor then is involved in a crash that causes serious bodily injury or death. The penalty for that felony: up to five years in prison or five years of probation.
The Legislature's actions stemmed in part from the case of Jessica Bedient -- an Omaha newlywed who was killed by an underage drunken driver. The driver's sister-in-law bought alcohol for him that night. She was convicted of misdemeanor providing alcohol to a minor and sentenced to the maximum at the time: one year in jail.
To date, Kuhse said, he has not prosecuted anyone under the felony version.
In the teen's first attempt to drink at the Fire Barn, Franson said, a different waitress refused to serve them because she smelled alcohol on them.
Franson said Heiman had just passed the restaurant's certification process for serving alcohol. Nebraska law bars anyone younger than 19 from serving alcohol. The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission doesn't require servers to pass a particular set of standards.
Hobert Rupe, executive director of the commission, said the Waterloo Fire Barn's liquor license could be suspended, canceled or revoked, which means the owner could never serve liquor again in the establishment.
To earn a suspension, Omaha police must file a tavern violation with the liquor commission, which would then review it and forward it to the attorney general. A three-member commission board, led by Rupe, would decide the penalty.
Franson said he didn't know Dickmeyer and Burke. He said their decisions, as well as Heiman's, have “affected a lot of lives here.''
Terry Dickmeyer thanked Valley residents for their support of his family since the accident. He said of his son: “He was a stand-up kid. He was a careful kid. He had a lot of respect for others. So many people called him their best friend.''
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