A DUI crash on the US 301 on Thursday claimed the life of a woman from Clearwater, Florida. The other driver was apprehended by the authorities and found to be driving under the influence (DUI).
The accident took place near the Rapid River Boulevard on U.S. 301 in Pasco County. Driver Jonathan Aldea Vades was driving a 2012 pest control truck at the time when the crash happened. The truck belonged to Megascapes Landscape and Maintenance of Dade City. Vades was traveling northbound on the road when he seems to have lost control of the truck. He first veered onto the eastern shoulder of the road, then over-corrected so that he came into the southbound lane of U.S. 301.
This is when he came directly in the path of a 2010 Honda. The Honda collided head-on into the right side of the truck. Lauren Simone Lee, 30, of Clearwater, was driving the Honda. She sustained serious injuries as a result of the collision and died.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers reached the site of the scene and tried to apprehend Valdes. However, Valdes resisted them and was ‘combative’ according to the troopers. He refused to undergo field sobriety tests and also refused to submit a blood sample for testing. Being slightly injured, he was first taken to the Advent Health and later booked into the Pasco County Jail.
Troopers have brought up two charges against Valdes. These include one count of DUI accident with property damage and one count of DUI accident with death. For the first charge, the penalties in Florida include up to 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $500. For the second charge, the mandatory minimum prison sentence is 4 years, although the state average for DUI manslaughter conviction is around 10 years.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, contact our office today. We can help.