Florida man charged with DUI manslaughter in May 2014 crash

A Florida man will face DUI manslaughter charges in connection to a crash that killed an East Naples woman last spring. The 24-year-old turned himself in to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office on the morning of Feb. 9. On May 18, 2014, the suspect was driving a 2002 Jaguar S-Type westbound on Davis Boulevard around 4:15 a.m. when he somehow swerved into the southbound lanes of Lakewood Drive, striking a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee that was in the left turn lane. The Jeep driver, a 54-year-old woman, was transported to Health Park Medical Center where she later died. The suspect was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

According to the police report, the suspect had been drinking in the hours leading up to the crash. His blood alcohol content level was .04, which is below the legal limit of .08. However, a lab report showed he was also under the influence of drugs. Authorities have not indicated which substances were found in his system.

The suspect, from East Naples, has two other drunk driving charges on his record. He was convicted of DUI after being pulled over on Interstate 75 in March 2013, and he was again arrested on December 31, 2014, after fleeing from Marco Island police and crashing his SUV into a stop sign and palm tree.

Any family who has lost a loved one to a car accident caused by an impaired driver may wish to speak with an attorney. In some cases, it may be possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver whose negligence was the cause of the fatal accident. If the claim is upheld, the victim’s next of kin could receive financial compensation for their losses, including funeral expenses and loss of companionship.

Source: Naples Daily News, “Man faces DUI manslaughter charge 9 months after fatal crash”, Ryan Mills, Feb. 9, 2015