Report: Woman driving to day care to get kids was drunk

LAND O'LAKES

Report: Woman going to day care was drunk

Authorities say Lisa Finley was drunk when she crashed into a mailbox, traffic sign and row of bushes while en route to pick up her kids from day care Monday afternoon.

Her Dodge Durango caught fire during the crash, which happened about 3:30 p.m. on School Road north of Mangold Lane, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Finley, 38, of Land O'Lakes was not injured. She kept falling asleep in a cruiser and a trooper had to sit her upright and shout her name to get her to respond, FHP states. She could not stand on her own, a report states. When asked where she was headed, Finley "stated that she believes that she was on her way to pick up her 2 year old and 4 year old from day care," the report states.

Finley was arrested and charged with DUI and three counts of DUI causing property damage. She was released from the Pasco jail Tuesday.

NEW PORT RICHEY

Suspect gets 17 years for DUI manslaughter

Thomas M. Fitzgerald, accused of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a man in 2009, has pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter and was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Authorities said Fitzgerald, 56, was driving east on State Road 54 about 7:40 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2009, when he failed to stop at a red light. He rear-ended a 2001 Honda Accord, which was pushed into the intersection and hit by a 2003 Ford Explorer headed south on Rowan Road. Honda passenger James R. Kiewra, 52, of Palm Harbor died.

Fitzgerald, whose pickup careened into the intersection and was struck by another car, was seriously injured. Several other people in the crash received injuries.

Blood-alcohol tests showed Fitzgerald's level was more than 0.2 — above the limit that Florida law presumes impairment. Besides prison time, Fitzgerald lost his driver's license for life.

NEW PORT RICHEY

Driver not faulted after man falls in road

Authorities identified a 69-year-old man who died after falling into the road and getting hit by a truck on Monday afternoon as Dewey Edward Yeary of New Port Richey.

The Florida Highway Patrol said he lost his balance and fell.

The accident happened about 1 p.m., as Donald A. Buck Jr., 43, of Tarpon Springs was driving his 2011 Ford F-450 truck north on Seven Springs Boulevard, south of State Road 54. Buck swerved, but was unable to avoid hitting the man who fell in the street, the FHP said. The agency has determined Buck was not at fault.

Report: Woman driving to day care to get kids was drunk 04/12/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 9:37pm]

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