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Lakeland man accused of DUI manslaughter in crash that killed Plant City mother, injured two children

Records show Brian DeFreitas of Lakeland has a history of traffic-related arrests.
Records show Brian DeFreitas of Lakeland has a history of traffic-related arrests.
Published Oct. 10, 2015

PLANT CITY — A mother was killed and her two children injured Thursday night in a crash in east Hillsborough County that the Florida Highway Patrol said was caused by a drunken driver.

Brian DeFreitas, 46, of Lakeland was arrested on charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, DUI with serious bodily injury and DUI with property damage in the crash, which killed Maria Luisa Olivas, 45, of Plant City.

Court records show he has a history of traffic-related arrests, including two previous DUIs.

Olivas' two children, Alejandro Mendoza-Olivas, 9, and Jade Alexa Mendoza, 8, were hospitalized, authorities said. Alejandro was in critical condition and Jade in good condition as of Friday evening, according to Tampa General Hospital spokeswoman Ellen Fiss.

The crash happened at 7:43 p.m. on State Road 60, near the intersection of Haynesworth Drive.

DeFreitas was heading east in a Dodge Avenger, according to the FHP. He was directly behind Olivas' Chevrolet pickup.

When DeFreitas tried to pass the pickup, the left front side of his car hit the right rear side of Olivas' truck, troopers said. The truck veered onto the grass median and rolled several times.

Olivas was not wearing a seat belt, troopers said. She was thrown out of the truck. She was later taken to Tampa General, where she was pronounced dead.

Both children were wearing seat belts.

DeFreitas was booked into the Hillsborough County jail, where he was being held without bail.