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Clearwater woman killed in crash with drunken driver in Pasco County

Troopers said Jonathan Aldea Valdes overcorrected into the southbound lanes of U.S. 301, hitting and killing Lauren Simone Lee.
Jonathan Aldea Valdes [Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
Jonathan Aldea Valdes [Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
Published Dec. 13, 2019
Updated Dec. 13, 2019

ZEPHYRHILLS — A Clearwater woman died Thursday evening after state troopers said a drunken driver swerved a work truck into her lane on U.S. 301 just south of Zephyrhills.

The crash happened at 6:27 p.m. near Rapid River Boulevard, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Troopers said 36-year-old Jonathan Aldea Valdes, of Zephyrhills, was driving north in a truck operated by a Dade City company, Megascapes Landscape and Maintenance. Troopers said Valdes lost control of the truck and drove onto the east shoulder, then overcorrected into the southbound lanes.

There, he collided with the front of a Honda driven by 30-year-old Lauren Simone Lee. Lee died at the scene, troopers said.

Valdes was “combative” and refused to complete field sobriety exercises or a blood draw, troopers said. He was arrested and taken to the Pasco County jail. He faces charges of DUI manslaughter and DUI property damage.

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