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70-year-old charged with DUI-manslaughter in crash

A 70-year-old driver was charged with DUI-manslaughter Sunday after a pedestrian was hit and killed early Sunday morning in downtown Tampa, police said.

Thurman Butler, 45, of 2911 17th St., was pushing his bicycle along W Palm Avenue when he was hit by a pickup truck at the intersection of Morgan Street at 4:19 a.m. Sunday. He died at the scene.

Tampa Police charged Rafael Ferrer of 2416 Corrine St. with DUI-manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash involving death. Police said he was driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.255 percent, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08.

Ferrer, who was not injured in the crash, was released from the Orient Road jail Sunday afternoon after posting $15,000 bail.

Tampa police Lt. Robert Pennington said Ferrer was driving his 1996 Dodge Dakota pickup truck west on W Palm Avenue when he hit Butler, then drove away, police said.

Three police officers saw the crash, and they arrested Ferrer at Ridgewood Avenue and Columbus Drive. Ferrer told police he did not see Butler.

"He knocked him pretty far down the street," Pennington said.

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