Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dump truck driver was on drugs in fatal Pasco crash, FHP says

NEW PORT RICHEY — The dump truck came speeding down Ridge Road, with worn tires and a driver on three prescription drugs, when it slammed into a pickup last September, authorities said.

The collision created a four-car pileup that killed 59-year-old Ruben Q. Echevarria. On Friday, the Florida Highway Patrol arrested the dump truck driver in that man's death.

Daniel Howard Arends, 49, was charged with DUI manslaughter and manslaughter by culpable negligence, plus three counts of DUI with serious bodily injury for the others hurt in the Sept. 21 crash.

Authorities say Arends had a mix of Valium, oxycodone and the muscle relaxant Nordazepam in his system that afternoon. FHP also determined Arends was driving 68 mph in a 45 mph zone with "improper equipment" — specifically, worn tires.

The Mack truck slammed into a string of vehicles stopped on Ridge Road at Galen Wilson Boulevard. Echevarria's yellow 2007 Chevrolet pickup took a direct hit.

The impact pushed the pickup into a 1996 black Ford Mustang driven by Darynn J. Magee, then 24, of New Port Richey. The Mustang then crashed into a 2007 black Saturn sport utility vehicle driven by John C. Shelak, then 62, of New Port Richey. Magee, Shelak and the Saturn passenger, Bonnie J. Shelak, then 59, were all injured. Echevarria died at the scene.

Arends was booked at the Land O'Lakes jail on Friday afternoon and is being held on $50,000 bail.

Dump truck driver was on drugs in fatal Pasco crash, FHP says 03/04/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2011 9:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals


    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates


    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears


    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'


    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]