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Authorities arrested a Florida fugitive in Mexico. Turns out it was the wrong guy

Troopers said on Friday that the man they arrested identified himself as “Brian Andrews” to Mexican authorities, but was in fact another fugitive named Ernest McBride.
This is a breaking news story. Stick with tampabay.com for updates.
This is a breaking news story. Stick with tampabay.com for updates. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jun. 25
Updated Jun. 25

After more than a decade, authorities thought they’d arrested the man responsible for killing a couple in a Polk County traffic crash from 2007. As it turns out, they arrested the wrong guy.

On Monday, Florida Highway Patrol announced they had arrested Brian Dale Andrews, who fled the country before he could be prosecuted for driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol content nearly four times the legal limit, according to a news release. Following the arrest in Mexico and his return to the United States on Wednesday, officials determined that the man in custody was not the man they were looking for.

Related: A Polk man fled after a fatal crash in 2007. He was just arrested in Mexico

Troopers said on Friday that the man they arrested identified himself as “Brian Andrews” to Mexican authorities, but was in fact another fugitive named Ernest McBride. He had warrants for his arrest in Arkansas and Missouri. Fingerprint comparisons confirmed that McBride was not who he said he was, troopers said.

Authorities are still searching for Brian Dale Andrews, now 43, from Frostproof. Troopers said Andrews killed Danny and Patricia McCown on June 30, 2007, when Andrews’ Cadillac flew over a median on U.S. Highway 27 and struck the McCown’s vehicle just north of County Line Road in Avon Park.

Andrews had two DUI charges on his record before the crash in Florida — one in 2001 and the other in 2004. He faces charges of two counts of DUI manslaughter, DUI property damage and two counts of driving with a suspended license involving a death related to the 2007 crash.

Troopers received an anonymous tip that Andrews was spotted in Mexico. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Florida Highway Patrol at 813-558-1800.