Friday, February 23, 2018
Public safety

Brooksville man charged with DUI manslaughter in April crash

BROOKSVILLE — A 33-year-old Brooksville man has been arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter, three months after he was involved in a crash in Spring Hill that killed his passenger.

Mikell Paul Begley was under the influence of alcohol when he lost control of his 2004 Ford Taurus on Forest Oaks Boulevard, near Forest Villas Circle, a little before 9 p.m. April 23, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The Taurus careened onto the north shoulder of the road and began to spin out as its front wheel hit the sidewalk, causing the car to flip onto its side and hit a tree, the FHP said. The car came to a stop on its side, leaning against the tree.

Gary S. Ziegler, 46, of Spring Hill died at the crash scene. Begley suffered critical injuries and was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson, officials said.

Toxicology test results revealed that Begley's blood-alcohol level was 0.121 and 0.125, an FHP report said. Under Florida law, a driver is presumed to be intoxicated when his blood alcohol level reaches 0.08.

Both men were wearing their seat belts at the time of the collision, the FHP reported.

Begley was arrested Wednesday in Pasco County on a Hernando warrant and remained in the Hernando County Detention Center on Thursday in lieu of $50,500 bail.

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