An alleged drunk Sarasota motorist struck three vehicles injuring three motorists and killing another at the intersection of Lockwood Ridge Road and University Parkway just before 8:05 a.m. on Sept. 8.
A Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) spokesperson notes that all the motorists involved were waiting in an eastbound lane of University Parkway preparing to turn left onto Lockwood Ridge Road before the accident occurred. It’s as they waited there that the alleged drunk motorist ran a red light.
The 17-year-old female that was in the first car that was struck walked away from the crash unscathed. The 70-year-old female passenger in the second vehicle was killed on impact. The 38-year-old female driver of that car suffered minor injuries in the crash. Her infant was critically wounded in the incident. The 63-year-old operator of the third vehicle suffered minor injuries.
An FHP report shows that the motorist that they allege is responsible for causing the crash fled the scene after it occurred. Officers later tracked him down to a nearby area and began questioning him. FHP has since stated that alcohol was likely involved in the crash.
That man was taken into custody at the crash scene. He was later booked in the Manatee County Jail on leaving the scene of an accident causing death and driving under the influence (DUI) manslaughter charges. He’s also been charged with some misdemeanor offenses. His bond was set at $103,000.
This crash isn’t the man’s first run-in with the law. He was arrested in March after a joint Sarasota Police Department (SPD) narcotics unit and a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force One operation revealed that he’d been dealing drugs at area nightclubs. He later became an SPD drug informant.
During a May 28 hearing in his drug case, the defendant’s attorney requested that his client be allowed to drink alcohol while out on bond. The judge agreed to remove that bond restriction, something that may have made empowered him to drink and drive.
Drunk driving accounts for countless unnecessary crashes throughout Florida and the rest of the United States each year. These types of crashes often result in unsuspecting motorists suffering debilitating injuries or dying as a result of their involvement in them. An attorney can advise you of your right to hold a negligent motorist liable for medical or funeral costs and lost wages for what they did.