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Witnesses testify about night of fatal crash in Pasco DUI case

NEW PORT RICHEY — A bartender at the Anchorage Bar served Deborah Terrero two beers the night of April 8, 2009, then watched as Terrero dozed off, her chin hitting her chest.

"I cut her off," said Panayiota Kyriakidis, who worked at the bar on U.S. 19 just north of State Road 52.

On the witness stand Tuesday, Kyriakidis said a little while later, she saw another bartender serving Terrero "mango bombs" — shots of mango-flavored vodka and Red Bull. After Terrero and two companions left, Kyriakidis heard a loud bang outside and went to look.

Authorities say Terrero rolled through a stop sign and pulled her Ford SUV onto U.S. 19 in front of a motorcycle carrying two people. It collided with her SUV, ejecting both people from the bike. Driver Ken Dillon was severely injured. Nicole Cetrangolo, his passenger, died at the scene. She was 37.

Terrero's blood-alcohol level was 0.062, and she had Xanax and methadone in her system, creating a potent mix in her system, prosecutors say.

Terrero, 55, is on trial this week charged with DUI manslaughter, DUI with serious bodily injury and vehicular homicide. She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Defense attorneys said Dillon, 50, met Cetrangolo at a bar that night and was also drinking.

The jury heard some mixed testimony about that Tuesday.

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper took the stand and said he supervised Dillon's blood draw as he lay unconscious in a hospital bed. The test found no alcohol in his system.

But Trooper Robert Ray said he smelled alcohol on Dillon, though he couldn't be sure whether it was medical alcohol applied by hospital staff.

Prosecutors, clearly surprised by Ray's response, put him on the stand again later in the day, and this time he said he made a mistake because he was reading from the wrong report.

"On this particular case, after reviewing my notes, there was no evidence of alcohol emanating from Mr. Dillon," Ray said.

When Dillon took the stand, he said he remembered nothing from earlier in the night.

"The only thing I recall is the vehicle being immediately in front of me," said Dillon, who suffered a fractured pelvis, ruptured bladder and torn shoulder ligaments in the crash.

Neither he nor Cetrangolo was wearing a helmet. Paramedic Joshua Ryczek, who treated Dillon at the scene, testified that Dillon told him he'd had four drinks that night — another detail Dillon said he can't remember.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at moorhead@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6245.

Witnesses testify about night of fatal crash in Pasco DUI case 05/03/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 8:24pm]
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