Saturday, August 18, 2018
Public safety

Tampa woman arrested on DUI manslaughter charge in fatal January crash

One early morning in January, 23-year-old Camaren Edson tried to steer her Nissan Murano around a curve on a stretch of Morris Bridge Road, court records say.

She didn’t make it. The small SUV veered off onto the shoulder, then back across the center line when Edson overcorrected, records show. The Nissan rotated and slammed into a southbound Ford Fusion, killing the passenger, 35-year-old Takenya James and seriously injuring the driver.

On Monday, Edson was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide, among other crimes, in connection with the Jan. 24 crash, records show.

An arrest report and records previously filed in the case include details about what happened that day.

Edson was heading north shortly after 1 a.m. when the crash happened near the intersection of Morris Bridge and Davis roads, just south of Fowler Avenue, the records say. Investigators noted the impact caused catastrophic damage to both the Nissan and Ford not consistent with a low-speed collision. The posted speed limit on that stretch of road is 45 miles per hour and a caution sign with a 20 mph speed limit is posted at the curve where the crash happened.

James was taken to Florida Hospital, where she died from her injuries. The Ford’s driver, Uniquea Hamilton, 26, was trapped in the wrecked car and had to be freed by first responders. She was treated at Tampa General Hospital for a leg fracture.

Temple Terrace police officers who arrived on the scene smelled an odor of alcohol in the Nissan and noted Edson’s glassy, watery eyes and slow speech pattern, according to a search warrant. She was taken to Tampa General Hospital to be treated for fractures to her left leg and a nurse told investigators her blood tested positive for alcohol.

The chief toxicologist for the Hillsborough Medical Examiner reviewed those results and estimated Edson’s blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was between 0.13 percent and 0.15 percent, records say. A driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher is presumed impaired under Florida law.

Edson told a Hillsborough sheriff’s detective that she had dinner with a friend at Ulele, where she drank a glass of wine with a steak dinner. The friends walked along the waterfront for a while, then Edson left for her apartment. She was about 2 miles from home when the crash happened.

Edson was booked into the Hillsborough County jail. Her bail was set at $134,500.

Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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