…..”a drunk man running over children, scattering them like a bowling ball through bowling pins”, was the description Polk County (Florida) Sheriff Grady Judd gave for the incident of a suspected drunken driver hitting six middle-school students as they walked home from the bus stop. One of the children, 13, died of his injuries; another student, also 13, remains in intensive care with orbital fractures. Three other children, ranging in age from 12 to 15, suffered minor injuries. And the driver? A 48-year old former law enforcement officer, who also hit another car about 4,000 feet (1,219.2 meters) down the road, injuring a woman who was four months pregnant.
The suspect refused to take a breath test after his arrest. Upon learning that the victims of his drunk driving were in critical condition, he agreed to take a breath test and a blood draw. Seven hours after the crash, he still read a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.14 – DUI threshold in Florida is .08. He faces 11 charges, including DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide, and is being held on $600,000 bail.
This suspect was apparently a good law enforcement officer, receiving acolades from his former employers. There is no record that he ever had a problem with the law, and had no record of being convicted of a felony. On the contrary was praised as being a good detective, but apparently had a drinking problem.
Original story reported by the Associated Press.