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Woman in stopped car dies after suspected drunk driver hits her

The crash occurred early Saturday along U.S. 19 in Pasco County.

A suspected drunk driver crashed into the rear of a stopped car early Saturday in Pasco County, killing the other driver, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Three cars were stopped at a traffic light on northbound U.S. 19 at Beacon Woods Drive about 1 a.m.

That’s when a 31-year-old man driving a pickup hit the back of the a 41-year-old woman’s SUV, troopers said. The woman, from Crystal River, died at the scene of the crash.

The Florida Highway Patrol did not release the name of the driver or the woman killed, citing its interpretation of Marsy’s Law, a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2018. The law is meant to protect crime victims, but it has been used to stop the release of information that had long been made available in Florida under the state’s public records law.

The woman’s SUV was pushed into the car in front of her. The man’s pickup became airborne and landed on top of another stopped car in the next lane. Debris from the crash hit a southbound car, which had started to make a left turn, according to the highway patrol.

Charges are pending against the pickup driver upon the completion of an investigation. Troopers said they suspect alcohol was a factor in the crash.