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Eckerd College student dies in fiery crash in Osceola County

ST. PETERSBURG — An Eckerd College freshman was killed Thursday night in Osceola County after a drunken driver slammed into her vehicle, authorities said.

Rachel Price, 18, of West Melbourne, was driving west on U.S. 192 at Old Melbourne Highway when a 2002 Ford pickup turned in front of Price's Hyundai sedan, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The impact caused the college student's car to burst into flames. She and her passenger, 19-year-old Jamaree Cook of Palm Bay, died. The driver of a third vehicle that got caught in the crash was not injured.

Nor was the driver of the truck, Randall Kerley, 47, of St. Cloud, who was arrested on charges of DUI manslaughter.

"Price and her passenger, they did nothing wrong," said FHP spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes. "He made a left turn in front of their car."

Montes said Kerley's blood-alcohol  content level was 0.14 percent four hours after the crash, according to a breath test. Florida law presumes a driver is impaired when his or her alcohol level is above 0.08 percent.

Troopers also drew Kerley's blood, Montes said, but those results are not immediately available.

Price was a member of Eckerd's soccer team and was interested in pursuing marine biology.

A week ago, she was named to the 2012 Sunshine State Conference Commissioner's fall honor roll.

Athletic director Bob Fortosis called her a "phenomenal player," according to a message that the dean of students, James Annarelli, sent to the campus community on Friday.

Price is the daughter of Eva and Donnie Price, Annarelli's message said, and has two brothers.

Eckerd College student dies in fiery crash in Osceola County 03/01/13 [Last modified: Friday, March 1, 2013 10:31pm]
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