ST. PETERSBURG — The Mercedes-Benz sped off the Howard Frankland Bridge and came up right behind the victim, authorities said, doing 74 mph. The luxury car crashed into the pickup's rear, pushing it into a concrete barrier and flipping it over.
Driver Daniel Harrell was thrown from the overturned truck and died at the scene that August night. He was 22.
Minutes later, on the side of the road, witnesses said they heard the Mercedes' driver, William Edward Storey, on his cell:
"I think I killed someone," he said.
Authorities now say the 39-year-old Kenneth City man was drunk when he did it.
Storey was arrested Tuesday on a DUI manslaughter warrant. He turned himself in to the Florida Highway Patrol and was booked into the Pinellas jail.
According to an affidavit, Storey's silver 2004 Mercedes-Benz rear-ended Harrell's Nissan pickup truck about 3:20 a.m. on Aug. 23. Both were exiting southbound Howard Frankland onto Interstate 275. But while Storey was doing about 74 mph, according to court records, Harrell was doing 55 to 65 mph.
Harrell of Land O'Lakes was not wearing his seat belt when the pickup flipped, ejecting him. One of two passengers in the pickup suffered minor injuries.
Two witnesses who pulled over at the crash scene said they saw Storey standing near his Mercedes, which was stopped a short distance from the crash scene. That's when they heard him tell someone during a call that he thought he "killed" someone.
Paramedics drew Storey's blood at the scene, the affidavit said. Tests revealed that he had a blood-alcohol level as high as 0.171. State law presumes a driver is legally impaired at 0.08 or greater.
According to state records, Storey was arrested in Tampa for marijuana possession in 2002 and for DUI in 2003. They also show that his driver's license twice was suspended, in 2003 and 2004.
Storey, of 4832 56th Way N, was released from jail Tuesday after putting up $50,000 bail.
Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.