Nicholas Immesberger died in December after crashing his car following a night of heavy drinking

By Rachel DeSantis
May 15, 2019 05:59 PM
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Tiger Woods said Tuesday the death of a 24-year-old bartender who drunkenly crashed his car last year after leaving the famed golfer’s Florida restaurant, where he worked, was a “very sad” and “terrible ending.”

Woods expressed condolences to the family of Nicholas Immesberger, who died on Dec. 10 after his shift at The Woods restaurant in Jupiter following a night of heavy drinking.

“We’re all very sad that Nick passed away,” Woods told reporters at the 101st PGA Championship in Farmingdale, New York, according to Reuters. “It was a terrible night, a terrible ending, and just — we feel bad for him and his entire family. It’s very sad.”

Woods’ comments came just one day after the 43-year-old was sued by Immesberger’s family. They blame him and his girlfriend, Erica Herman, the restaurant’s general manager, for their son’s death, arguing they knew he was an alcoholic but allowed him to drink.

The day of the crash, Immesberger finished his bartending shift but stuck around for three hours and was allegedly served to the point of “severe intoxication,” TMZ and Florida news station WPTV reported.

Immesberger left The Woods around 6 p.m. and headed home, but crashed his car and was pronounced dead at the scene. The state patrol said he was driving “at a high rate of speed” and rolled his car over, according to The Palm Beach Post.

His blood alcohol level was a .256, which is more than three times the legal limit, his family’s lawsuit states. He was also not wearing a seatbelt, the Post reported.

Immesberger’s parents claim Woods and Herman knew he battled alcoholism, according to the suit, and that Woods “was directly responsible for ensuring that his employees and management … were not over-serving its employees/customers,” TMZ reported.

Nicholas Immesberger

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Family attorney Spencer T. Kuvin said Woods was not present the day of the crash, according to USA Today, though the lawsuit claims he and Herman drank with Immesberger several nights earlier. “Tiger is individually liable in this action because he individually participated in the serving of alcohol to Immesberger,” the suit states.

Immesberger was reportedly a local football star who had played running back at Berean Christian School and fullback at Bridgewater College in western Virginia in 2013.

“Nick was a good kid, a funny kid,” said Scott Duchene, Immesberger’s father, according to USA Today. “He had a lot of drive and he was taken away from us. I feel he should still be here with us. I’m just very disappointed in this whole situation.”

The family’s suit seeks more than $15,000 in damages, according to the Post.

Woods’ reps did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s for comment about the suit; the name of the attorney representing him in the suit was not immediately available.