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DUI blamed in collision that killed pedestrian

A 24-year-old south Manatee County woman and habitual traffic offender was drunk when the car she was driving plowed into two Bradenton good Samaritans, killing one and injuring the other, according to blood sample tests.

Nicole Stoletz surrendered Friday at the Florida Highway Patrol station in Bradenton and was charged with driving under the influence, DUI manslaughter and DUI causing serious bodily injury.

At the time of the crash, Stoletz's blood-alcohol level of 0.24 was three times the legal limit, according to a toxicology report released Friday. Florida law presumes a driver is impaired if they have a 0.08 blood-alcohol level. If convicted of manslaughter, Stoletz faces a possible 15-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine, officials said.

Troopers found a six-pack of beer in the car Stoletz was driving. One of the beers was opened. Stoletz and her passenger, Diane Pierce of Sarasota, had been at OuterLimits nightclub before the accident, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Doug Dodson said.

Authorities say Stoletz was driving Pierce's Saturn on U.S. 41 at 2:30 a.m. Aug. 6 when the car struck two people, Juanita "Ginger" Levero, 37, and Brian Wilson, 40. At the time, Levero, a nursing assistant, and Wilson were helping people hurt in another car crash.

Levero died at the scene, and Wilson was seriously injured, according to FHP reports. Wilson was in serious condition Friday at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. Stoletz and Pierce also were injured in the crash.

Stoletz was being held Friday night in the Manatee County Jail. She has a history of traffic offenses, motor vehicle records show.

Her license was revoked Jan. 6 for five years following a DUI conviction stemming from a December accident in Charlotte County. She lost her license then because she was considered a habitual traffic offender, having been arrested twice in 1995 for driving with a suspended license, records show.

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