Trial set for man accused in DUI death of Miami Heat dancer

It has been over three years since the arrest of a 46-year-old Ft. Lauderdale man who is accused of the DUI manslaughter of a Miami Heat dancer. Family members of the victim say that the long wait for this case to come to trial has been emotionally painful and that they are eager to see justice served.

It was 9:38 p.m. on Sep. 10, 2010, when police say the defendant struck the 22-year-old victim with his car as she sat atop her motorcycle near the median of a divided road on East Sunrise Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale. The Broward State Attorney’s office released a video which shows the defendant’s car, a 2009 Mercedes, collide with the victim and her 2003 Suzuki GSX R so severely that the resulting impact propelled her bike, and her, over 130 feet. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene of the car accident.

What happened next will likely become the focus of the entire trial and perhaps the key to the outcome of the case. According to a police report, the defendant exhibited many of the hallmarks of a person who had been drinking. He emanated a strong odor of alcohol, was unsteady and swaying from side-to-side as he stood, and had bloodshot eyes. In fact, the defendant’s blood was drawn over 30 minutes from the time of the crash yet still indicated that he was over three times the legal limit to drive in Florida.

The parents of the victim were in court while a jury was picked for this DUI manslaughter trial in south Florida. Although no amount of money can ever bring a beloved daughter back, is it fair that parents should bear the brunt of those costs all alone? How about the victim’s funeral cost and the cost of her lost motorcycle? Perhaps the defendant should be held accountable for his actions if found guilty.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Trial to begin in DUI death of Miami Heat dancer” Rafeal Olmeda, Mar. 17, 2014