TRINITY — Philip Billitteri was arrested Tuesday on charges he caused the car accident that killed his wife.
Authorities say Billitteri's blood alcohol content was 0.194 — more than twice the threshold for a DUI arrest — when he and his wife, Sherry, 66, left Bonefish Grill on the evening of April 30. The couple, who were married in 1988, went out to dinner most Friday nights. Bonefish was a few miles from their home in Heritage Springs.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Philip Billitteri, 58, was driving west on Trinity Boulevard a little after 7 p.m. He turned left onto Tamarind Boulevard — the entrance to the subdivision, just three turns from home — in front of a pickup truck headed east on Trinity, which crashed into Sherry's side of the car, according to FHP.
Sherry Billitteri wasn't wearing her seat belt. Phillip wore his. Neither he nor the driver of the truck — William D. Maher, 38, of Spring Hill — were injured.
Sherry, a mother of three sons, was taken to Bayfront Medical Center where she died, according to FHP.
"We were soulmates," Philip Billitteri told the Times shortly after the accident. He did not return a phone call for comment Wednesday. Sherry Billitteri's family declined to comment.
Philip Billitteri of 12107 Broadgreen Place in Trinity is charged with driving under the influence, DUI manslaughter and two counts of DUI causing damage to property or person. Billitteri's blood sample had to be sent and processed at a lab, which is why the charges are coming months after the accident — often common in cases such as this.
He was released from the Pasco County jail Tuesday on $10,300 bail.
Erin Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6229.