Clearwater woman charged with DUI manslaughter

CLEARWATER — A 28-year-old Clearwater woman is accused of driving drunk when she turned in front of a motorcyclist, causing an accident that killed the man in July, authorities said.

Lacy Smithson, of 2275 Beverly Lane, was arrested Thursday and charged with driving under the influence manslaughter.

Toxicology tests revealed Smithson had a blood alcohol level of 0.15, nearly twice the limit at which a driver is presumed impaired in Florida, Clearwater police said.

Bobby Joseph Paonessa, 26, of Pinellas Park, was pronounced dead at the scene of the July 10 accident on Missouri Avenue.

According to Clearwater police, Paonessa was headed south on Missouri when Smithson, who was northbound, turned in front of him.

Smithson turned herself in at the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday. She was released Thursday night after posting bail. In addition to the manslaughter charge, she was cited for failure to yield to oncoming traffic when making a left turn.

Clearwater woman charged with DUI manslaughter 08/13/10 [Last modified: Friday, August 13, 2010 6:17pm]

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