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Tampa man arrested on DUI manslaughter charge after crash kills Zephyrhills woman

Michael Jones, 31, of Tampa, remained in custody at the Hillsborough County Jail on Wednesday afternoon.
Michael Jones, 31, was arrested Wednesday morning on charges of DUI manslaughter and DUI with serious injury, the Florida Highway Patrol says.
Michael Jones, 31, was arrested Wednesday morning on charges of DUI manslaughter and DUI with serious injury, the Florida Highway Patrol says. [ Florida Highway Patrol ]
Published May 4|Updated May 4

TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested on a DUI manslaughter charge Wednesday after he caused a crash on Interstate 75 that killed a 25-year-old Zephyrhills woman, according to an arrest affidavit.

Michael Jones, 31, was speeding between 90 and 100 mph in a Honda Accord around 10 p.m. Tuesday before the crash, witnesses told the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers say Jones then “violently” struck the back of a Chevrolet Cruze near the exit with Fletcher Avenue. The Accord pushed the Cruze northeast into the back of a Toyota Corolla in which the Zephyrhills woman was a passenger. All three cars were traveling north in the left-center lane of the interstate.

After impact, the Corolla entered the interstate’s median, struck several trees and split into two pieces. The Corolla’s passenger died at the scene and the car’s driver, a 25-year-old Zephyrhills man, was taken to Tampa General Hospital with serious injuries, troopers said.

The driver and passenger of the Cruze, a man and woman in their 50s, sustained minor injuries, the affidavit said. They were able to come to a controlled stop on the interstate.

Jones’ Accord struck a light pole after impact with the Cruze. Troopers say he injured his forearm from an airbag that deployed on impact. A 27-year-old passenger in the Accord also sustained a minor injury.

A trooper noted that Jones had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and the smell of alcohol on his breath in the minutes after the crash. Jones struggled during a field sobriety test and a witness added that he “appeared impaired and was unsteady on his feet” when exiting the Accord, the affidavit said.

Troopers said all six people involved were wearing seatbelts. Jones was the only person involved in the crash whose name was released by troopers.

Jones, whose birthday was the day of the crash, was being held without bail at the Hillsborough County Jail on Wednesday afternoon. He also faces a charge of DUI causing serious injury.

Jail records indicate both charges against him are pending the results of a blood test.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said the Zephyrhills woman was a passenger in the Chevrolet Cruze, not the Toyota Corolla, because of incorrect information in a Florida Highway Patrol news release.

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