PLANT CITY — A Plant City teenager who was behind the wheel of a sport utility vehicle that collided with a car in February, killing the driver, has been charged with DUI manslaughter.
Jennifer Carvajal, 17, was booked into jail Thursday on the manslaughter charge and a count of driving without a valid license resulting in death — both felonies — and held without bail.
The 4-foot-11, 110-pound high school student was driving north in a Lincoln Navigator at 6:30 a.m. Feb. 5 on Alexander Street, according to Plant City police. Keith Davis, 52, was coming off the eastbound exit ramp from Interstate 4 in a four-door Toyota.
As Davis pulled onto Alexander Street, the Navigator slammed into the car's passenger side and pushed it into a concrete barrier, police said. Davis, who was up early delivering newspapers, died at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
Police determined Carvajal ran a red light just before the crash, authorities said. She was going 55 mph in a 45 mph zone.
After hitting Davis' car, the Navigator kept going, hitting a pedestrian walk sign, a water main, a set of shrubs and a palm tree before coming to a stop.
Carvajal was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where authorities administered a blood test. The results of the test were not disclosed Friday.
She was arrested about 10 a.m. Thursday at the Simmons Career Center, where she is a student, according to jail records. The Plant City school offers accelerated career training for students who are more than a year behind in their high school courses.
It was unclear where Carvajal, who was 16 at the time of the crash, was headed that Wednesday morning. The SUV belonged to her mother, the Plant City Observer reported. Carvajal has no other driving citations in Florida, according to state records.
Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Dan Sullivan at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386. Follow @TimesDan.