EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Exactly two years after the devastating death of 16-year-old Cole Watson, his friend Paige stood near a memorial for him near NW 150th and MacArthur Boulevard.
While the pictures had faded, her memories of him had not.
“If you knew Cole, his smile was just so contagious. Anything he would say would make the room just light up,” she said. “I just feel like today is just really all about Cole remembering Cole, who Cole was, and letting the remembrance of Cole live on.”
While time continues to heal the wounds left by his death, the former Deer Creek High School teen who was charged with murder and a DUI following his death is now suing the gas station he said supplied the alcohol he drank on the night of the accident.
Police said then-17-year-old Jordan Diaz lost control of the car he was driving and hit another vehicle head-on near Northwest 150th and MacArthur around 4:30 a.m. on July 7, 2020.
The car then went into a ditch and caught on fire; Diaz’s passenger, 16-year-old Cole Watson, was killed in the accident.
At the time of the accident, police said Diaz had a blood alcohol level of .074 and was allegedly going between 99 and 106 miles per hour.
According to court documents, his license had also been previously suspended before the accident.
Diaz filed the lawsuit in Oklahoma County District Court Wednesday, alleging that the Circle K convenience store, located at 2216 W. Edmond Road, and its employees “unlawfully sold a large quantity of alcoholic beverages to an underage purchaser who then shared or supplied the alcohol to other underage parties”.
Casey’s General Stores acquired that location in 2021.
In the suit, legal representation for Diaz also stated the defendants (Circle K and employees) “made no effort, and/or no reasonable effort to determine the age of the minor purchaser”, that “Diaz sustained severe and permanent injuries, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and medical expenses,” and that “minors such as Diaz are incompetent by reason of their youth and inexperience to deal responsibly with the effects of alcohol.”
Although Diaz was originally charged with murder and DUI, later court documents showed he ultimately pled guilty as a youthful offender in 2021 and was offered a sentencing alternative.
Standing at the memorial, Cole’s friend gently emphasized the need for wisdom.
“Sitting here behind me is, I mean, cause what happens when you drink and drive,” said Paige. “And one tiny mistake can cost you someone’s life or your life.
“Life is just so precious,” she added. “And I just feel like people don’t really realize that anymore.”
KFOR reached out to the attorneys for the families; they declined to speak due to the pending nature of the case.
Anyone who suspects that a business is illegally selling alcohol to minors is asked to contact the Alcohol Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission (ABLE) to request an investigation: (405) 521-3484.