Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater Beach fatal crash leads to a DUI manslaughter charge for an Ohio man

CLEARWATER — Nine months after the car crash that killed 21-year-old Cristobal Cordano, an Ohio man has been charged with DUI manslaughter.

Mario Ghiloni, 26, was served with the warrant Tuesday. Authorities believe Ghiloni's blood alcohol concentration was as high as 0.114 when he made a left turn in front of Cordano's oncoming car on Clearwater Beach last May, causing the fatal crash.

The arrest was a long time in coming, said Cordano's mother, Diane Peasley, but it did little to ease the pain of losing her son.

"I thought I'd have this big relief once he was arrested," she said Wednesday. "But it's just kind of like not there yet. I know this is the first step."

According to authorities, at 6:23 p.m. on May 5, Cordano was headed south with a passenger on Mandalay Avenue near Rockaway Street on Clearwater Beach.

Ghiloni was coming north on Mandalay with a female passenger, Kayla Smith, the two of them visiting from Ohio. According to police accounts, Ghiloni made an abrupt left-hand turn in front of Cordano's car causing the crash.

Cordano was transported to Morton Plant Hospital where he died shortly after. His passenger, Deavon Rudd, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. An initial report said they were not wearing their seat belts, but Peasley said the bruise on her son's left shoulder proves that his seat belt was on.

Ghiloni, meanwhile, was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where he was interviewed by police. At the hospital, authorities said, he showed signs of alcohol impairment. His eyes were bloodshot and watery. He mumbled his words. And he had a slight odor of alcohol, the report said.

A blood draw at the hospital showed an alcohol concentration of 0.072. The legal limit at which a driver is presumed impaired is 0.08, but police asked the medical examiner's office to "extrapolate" backward to the time of the crash. That estimate placed his blood alcohol concentration in the range of 0.100 to 0.105.

Ghiloni is being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Peasley and attorney Tom Carey also have filed a civil suit against Ghiloni and his mother, Mae Ghiloni, who owned the car.

Cordano, a graduate of East Lake High School, was a popular young man, who played football and lacrosse. He wore No. 8, after his father.

Four-hundred and sixty-five people attended his funeral, his mother said. And in the days after his death, more than 100 voice messages were left on his cell phone.

Peasley said her son was the first in the state to undergo a frontal lobectomy to correct epilepsy. That surgery took place in 2003.

At the time of his death, Cordano was interested in becoming a pediatrician. He had taken some general classes at St. Petersburg College and had taken a few semesters off to work various jobs, his mother said.

"The thing that really makes it okay sometimes is when you run into people who really knew him," Peasley said. "I'm finding out that everybody knew my son."

Jonathan Abel can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4157.

Clearwater Beach fatal crash leads to a DUI manslaughter charge for an Ohio man 02/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 10:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest

    BY AMY SCHERZER

    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other

    News

    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.