Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Public safety

Man charged in hit-and-run deaths of Clearwater tourists released from jail

The man recently charged in the hit-and-run deaths of two pedestrians was released from jail early Wednesday.

Charles Winzenread, 45, had been held at the Pinellas County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Winzenread was arrested Tuesday after Clearwater police say he hit and killed Illinois tourists Viola Flores, 51, and John Berg, 62, as they crossed the Clearwater Memorial Causeway last month. Police said he fled shortly thereafter.

Witnesses told investigators Winzenread was drinking wine prior to the crash, according to an arrest affidavit.

His attorney, Robert Herce, previously said that alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

Attempts to reach Winzenread and his attorney went unanswered Wednesday.

Video surveillance from nearby businesses captured images of Winzenread's Mercedes SUV and its "Endless Summer" specialty license tag.

Before his arrest, crime analysts compiled a list of about 150 Mercedes G500s within a 99-mile radius. Two had the same tag, but investigators ruled out one of the vehicles, which was in Orlando. That left Winzenread's car.

On Oct. 21, police seized his car, which had front-end damage, after obtaining a search warrant.

Winzenread faces a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

   
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