Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Two co-workers killed in Harbour Island bridge crash

Police check the damage of a crash that killed two people early Saturday along the Harbour Island bridge. They were killed as they left work at the Marriott. 


Police check the damage of a crash that killed two people early Saturday along the Harbour Island bridge. They were killed as they left work at the Marriott. 

TAMPA — Doug Kozar was working toward a career in law enforcement. Kate Kohlier was about to graduate from college.

Kozar, 23, and Kohlier, 24, both died early Saturday after leaving work at the Marriott Waterside Hotel. A car veered off the road and hit them as they walked across the Harbour Island bridge. Police say a drunken driver is to blame.

Matthew R. Moye, 34, a south Hillsborough dentist, was speeding on the bridge in a black 2001 Cadillac coupe at about 2 a.m. when he hit a curb and spun out of control, according to Tampa police. The southbound car crossed into the bridge's northbound lane and onto the sidewalk. It slid down a guardrail and over several planters while hitting Kozar and Kohlier, police said.

Kohlier was killed instantly. Kozar was pushed over a guardrail and into a planter. He was pronounced dead in an ambulance at the scene.

A third Marriott employee, Joao Armando Fonseca Barbosa, 47, suffered a broken ankle after jumping out of the way of the vehicle. He was treated at Tampa General Hospital.

Police later arrested Moye on two counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of DUI manslaughter and one count of driving under the influence with injury.

Moye, his wife Kelly, and another female passenger were temporarily trapped inside the vehicle before a Tampa Fire Rescue crew freed them, police said. No one in the vehicle was injured.

Officers noted the odor of alcohol on Moye's breath, slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. Moye refused a breath test, but police took a sample of his blood for testing, records show.

His arrest report says he became combative when police pulled him out of his car. He hit an officer's hand, resulting in an additional charge of battery on a law enforcement officer.

Moye practices at Big Bend Dental on Vail Ridge Drive in Riverview, according to jail records. He was being held Saturday without bond.

A woman who answered the door Saturday morning at Moye's home on S Ferdinand Avenue in Tampa declined to comment.

Moye pleaded no contest on Oct. 21 to a charge of driving 90 mph in a 55 mph zone after being cited by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in August, according to court records. A judge withheld adjudication and ordered Moye to attend advanced defensive driving school by Dec. 20.

Court records also show Moye's driving history includes charges of driving without a seat belt and speeding in two 2005 incidents, speeding in Polk County in 2007, driving without proof of insurance in 2008, and two speeding cases in 2009. The seat belt, insurance, 2005 and March 2009 speeding cases were dismissed. Adjudication was withheld in the August 2009 speeding case, with Moye paying a fine and court costs, records show. He also paid a fine in the Polk County case.

His wife, Kelly, was arrested on a DUI charge in 2009, according to sheriff's records.

Friends and relatives of the victims expressed shock Saturday at the news of their deaths.

"All I can say is she was a great person," said Jose Comparini, a co-worker of Kohlier's. "I lost a good friend and a partner at work."

Kohlier's Facebook page indicates that she graduated from Largo High School in 2004. She was scheduled to graduate from USF in December with a degree in psychology.

Kozar was a graduate of the University of Tampa who came to Florida from Upstate New York to study business, but liked criminal justice better after taking some criminology classes.

After graduating in December 2009, he looked for jobs in security as a first step toward a career in law enforcement, his family said. He found work in the catering department at the Marriott, hoping he could eventually switch to hotel security.

Kozar's girlfriend, Ashley LeBlanc, said he usually parked his car in lots or on the street downtown to avoid having to pay to park in a Harbour Island garage.

"He was a real personable kid," said his father, Russ Kozar, of Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. "We were very happy he was working and making his own way."

When he wasn't working, Kozar enjoyed fishing. His father recently mailed him a fishing reel that belonged to Doug's grandfather.

"My wife and I are heartbroken that his life was taken by a drunk driver," Kozar said. "We're also upset he had to walk over the bridge to get there anyway. We wish there had been a shuttle that could have taken them there. That would have saved two lives. But it's easy to be a Monday-morning quarterback."

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Dan Sullivan can be reached at or (813) 226-3321.

Two co-workers killed in Harbour Island bridge crash 10/30/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 30, 2010 11:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics


     Winner of the week

    Peter Antonacci. Gov. Rick Scott tapped his go-to utility player to lead his Florida job recruiting agency, Enterprise Florida, having previously picked him for his general counsel, to lead the South Florida Water Management District and to serve as Palm Beach state …

  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 19: A peregrina spends the whole day under the weather, and part of the day under the table


    Day 19: El Burgo Ranero to Puente Villarente: 25.4 km, 7.5 hours (Total for Days 1-19 = 454 km (282 miles)

    This list pretty much sums up my day:

    Eat two bananas

    Walk 13.1 kilometers


    Walk 6.2 kilometers


    Eat half an apple

    Walk 6.1 kilometers

    Crash< …

  3. Storm routs Cleveland


    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  4. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  5. Rowdies shut out Charleston


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.