1. News

Reckless driving, not DUI, charge in Hernando crash

BROOKSVILLE — The 20-year-old Brooksville man who crashed his pickup truck last month, critically injuring a passenger, did not have enough alcohol in his system to be charged with DUI, authorities say.

Joseph Raub still faces a criminal traffic charge of reckless driving resulting in a serious bodily injury. He was arrested on Monday and released from the Hernando County Detention center about an hour later after posting $2,000 bail, records show.

According to two samples of blood drawn after the Oct. 1 crash, Raub's blood-alcohol level was 0.041 and 0.043. The results of the tests, which were performed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, were released this week.

Under Florida law, a driver is presumed impaired at a level of 0.08.

Raub's license was also suspended for six months for driving under the legal drinking age with a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.02.

According to police, Raub lost control of his truck about 11:45 p.m. after he steered into a turn lane to head north from U.S. 41 to Ponce De Leon Boulevard in Brooksville. The truck traveled through the intersection and struck a palm tree in the median.

Patrick A. Osmond, 20, was thrown from the truck's bed and taken to Bayonet Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.

Two passengers in the cab — 19-year-old Brooksville resident James Wheeler III and an unidentified 16-year-old boy — were also injured. Both were treated and released, police said.

Raub admitted that he had been drinking before the crash, police said.

At the hospital, Osmond's father, Robert, found a receipt from the Applebee's restaurant on Cortez Boulevard in Brooksville that included a pitcher of beer.

Robert Osmond, who is also Wheeler's stepfather, contacted police, who interviewed 27-year-old bartender Fallon Lyn Greenwald. Greenwald, of Brooksville, told investigators she had checked Osmond's license and had served him because he was born in 1991. He doesn't turn 21 until December, however.

She said she didn't serve Raub because he looked too young.

Raub later told police that he took sips of beer when no one was looking. He also admitted to drinking before arriving at the restaurant, said police Chief George Turner.

Greenwald was later arrested, charged with two counts of serving alcohol to a minor, and released from the Hernando County Detention Center after posting $500 bail.

An Applebee's manager who answered the phone after Greenwald's arrest last month told a Times reporter that she no longer worked there.

On Tuesday, Robert Osmond said his son remained in Bayonet Point's surgical intensive care unit. He was in stable condition, but has a long road to recovery, his father said.

Reach Tony Marrero at or (352) 848-1431. On Twitter: @TMarreroTimes and @HernandoTimes.