Drinking and driving can have irreversible and tragic consequences. Sadly, an accident near Live Oak recently is no different.
A sheriff’s deputy has died due to injuries he received in a car accident while he was off duty on May 21. The man who caused the crash was originally charged with DUI with serious bodily injury. That charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. But, chances are, he will now be facing more prison time than that if he is convicted.
That’s because after the officer died, the suspect’s charge was upgraded to DUI manslaughter, a more serious crime with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. The driver was also charged with reckless driving and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.
Police reports indicate that the 53-year-old suspect was driving drunk when his car struck the back of the off-duty deputy’s Ford Ranger pickup truck, causing the deputy to lose control of his vehicle. The deputy, who was not wearing a seat belt, was unable to regain control of his truck, which caused it to drive off the road’s shoulder and slam into a utility pole.
Upon the arrival of emergency medical staff, the deputy was immediately airlifted to a major medical center, where he died on May 22 as a result of complications from his injury. The deputy, who was 43 years old, served as a Resource Officer at a local middle school.
The charged driver was not injured in the accident, according to reports.
Source: www.gainesville.com, “DUI suspect charged with manslaughter in deputy’s death,” Karen Voyles, 23 May 2011