Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Public safety

Car went airborne in fatal Gibsonton crash, woman charged with DUI manslaughter

GIBSONTON — One night last month, a white Cadillac sedan careened into a roundabout on East Bay Road, launched into the air and slammed into a Ford pickup truck, authorities say.

The force of the crash caused "catastrophic damage" to the pickup and killed its driver, 34-year-old Carlos Gutierrez of Gibsonton, court records show.

On Wednesday, deputies arrested the Cadillac driver and charged her with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide, among other crimes.

Investigators with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office say Jasmin Galicia, 24, of Gibsonton, was driving more than 100 mph just seconds before the April 8 crash and smelled strongly of alcohol during an interview with a detective at the scene, court documents show.

An arrest warrant and two search warrants filed in the case offer an account of what detectives believe happened about midnight April 8.

Galicia was driving the 2014 Cadillac CTS north on East Bay Road about midnight when she lost control in the roundabout at Nundy Avenue, the warrants say. Meanwhile, Gutierrez was driving his Ford F-150 west on East Bay Road, yielding to traffic on the western entrance of the roundabout. The truck was traveling less than 25 mph, records say.

The Cadillac veered off the roadway, struck a curb, entered the roundabout, ran into a raised median and became airborne, the warrants say. The front of the Cadillac then struck the driver’s side of the Ford, spinning it more than 360 degrees and pushing it over another median curb and into a Toyota Camry, the documents say. Gutierrez wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and was thrown form the truck, the warrants say. He died at the scene.

Galicia’s husband, 25-year-old Rene Pineda-Martinez, was in the passenger seat of the Cadillac and had to be extracted from the car, records show. The force of the crash broke Pineda-Martinez’s leg.

The Camry driver was not injured.

Investigators determined the Cadillac was airborne at the time of the collision because the damage to the truck was mostly above the driver’s side frame of the truck. A data recorder showed the Cadillac was traveling 103 mph a few seconds before the crash.

Galicia told traffic homicide Detective Jonathan Winters the she had a "mixed drink" at about 8:30 p.m. on April 7 and was coming from a party at the time of the crash. She made "inconsistent and irrational" statements during the interview, Winters wrote in one of the search warrants.

Winters obtained warrants allowing investigators to search the Cadillac and draw blood from Galicia, about three hours after the crash. The results put her blood alcohol level at .118. A driver with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher is presumed impaired under Florida law.

Galicia was arrested at the county jail on Orient Road on Wednesday afternoon and was released about half an hour later after posting $60,500 bail, records show. She also faces charges of DUI resulting in serious bodily injury and DUI resulting in property damage.

Galicia could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. Records show this is her first arrest in Florida.

Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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