Monday, January 22, 2018
Public safety

Driver charged with DUI manslaughter in Clearwater motorcycle crash

CLEARWATER — Police have arrested a Clearwater woman they say was impaired by alcohol and prescription drugs when she caused a crash Sunday that killed a 24-year-old motorcyclist.

Casandra R. Hafford, 47, faces a charge of DUI manslaughter.

Just before 9:40 p.m. Sunday, Hafford was driving her 2001 Buick Century south on Missouri Avenue when she turned east onto Belleair Road in front of a Kawasaki motorcycle driven by Michael B. Ballard, who was heading north on Missouri Avenue, Clearwater police said.

Ballard, of Clearwater, was taken to Morton Plant Hospital, where he died, police said.

The intersection was closed for about three hours as detectives investigated.

According to an arrest affidavit, Hafford smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot and watery eyes. After her arrest, she admitted that she had consumed alcohol and taken prescription medication before the crash, police said.

She failed a field sobriety test, according to the affidavit. A breath test taken three hours after the crash showed her blood alcohol level was 0.06. The state presumes impairment if a person has a level of 0.08 percent or higher.

Hafford was booked into the Pinellas County jail, where she remained Monday without bail.

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