Another Wrongful Death by Hit-and-Run Drunk Driver on U.S. 98

Another fatal DUI-related hit and run has claimed a life on U.S. 98/Gulf Breeze Parkway in Midway — the second such accident on that stretch of U.S. 98 in the past two months. A Gulf Breeze man was arrested over the weekend for causing the wrongful death of a bicyclist in a DUI accident from which the driver fled the scene.

The 28-year-old suspected drunk driver now faces criminal charges of DUI manslaughter, as well as leaving the scene of a fatal car accident.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 58-year-old man from Gulf Breeze was riding his bicycle on the shoulder of U.S. 98 at around 10:30 p.m. Friday night. The alleged drunk driver, in a 1994 Mazda, slammed into the back of the bike, throwing the rider off. The suspect left the scene of the wreck.

The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.

FHP troopers found the 1994 Mazda on New Hope Road, about three miles away from the fatal bicycle accident. They located the suspected drunk driver a short time later and arrested him.

The 28-year-old is currently being held at the Santa Rosa County Jail on a $131,500 bond and was to be arraigned yesterday by jail video link.

Woman Accused of Hit-and-Run on Road Worker Still in Jail

As we reported in October, a 50-year-old woman was arrested on October 25 after a drunk-driving hit-and-run accident that resulted in the wrongful death of a 42-year-old road construction worker from Pensacola. That fatal accident also occurred on U.S. 98.

The woman was also allegedly driving drunk when she struck the road worker, who was working with a crew setting up a reflective barrel on U.S. 98 near Woodlawn Beach Road in Midway. She also fled the scene, but evidence of the crash was left behind, including paint chips and a rearview mirror.

The woman, also from Gulf Breeze, was charged with DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal car accident, and driving with a suspended license. According to the Pensacola News Journal, she remains in the Santa Rosa County Jail without bond as of Saturday.

Source: Pensacola News Journal, “Hit-and-run on U.S. 98 kills bicyclist,” Erin Kourkounis, November 28, 2010