1. News

Ruskin woman charged with DUI manslaughter in November death of motorcyclist

Lizangela Bonilla Parilla, 21, was arrested Monday and charged with DUI manslaughter in the November death of Charlie Suave Garcia. Bonilla was intoxicated when she struck Garcia on Interstate 75 while he was parked near the exit ramp to Gibsonton Drive, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. [Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]
Published Jul. 9

GIBSONTON — If Lizangela Bonilla Parilla had gone straight home work that night, the motorcyclist she slammed into while driving under the influence would still be alive, authorities say.

Months earlier, Bonilla had pleaded guilty to DUI. As part of the terms of her probation, the 21-year-old Riverview woman was supposed to be driving "for business purposes only," records show. But on Nov. 5, Bonilla decided to stay at the Sunset Grill in Ruskin after her shift ended to drink alcohol, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Bonilla was driving a 2013 Toyota Corolla north on Interstate 75 about 8:45 p.m. when she decided at the last moment to take the Gibsonton Drive exit, an arrest report says. Bonilla veered into the painted area between the travel lane and exit ramp where 28-year-old Charlie Suave Garcia of Orlando had stopped his motorcycle. The Corolla struck Garcia from behind, throwing him off the bike and to the ground. He died at the scene.

Investigators concluded Bonilla, 21, was under the influence of alcohol at the time, the report says. On Monday, she was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter.

Bonilla would later tell investigators that her shift ended at 6 p.m. that day but she stayed afterward to have one alcoholic drink and watch karaoke, then set off for home, according to the arrest report. She said was she made the last minute turn to exit because she "reacted to GPS directions late." She said she needed the directions because she was relatively new to the area.

The report says the lights on Garcia's Yamaha YZF R6 were on when he was struck. He was wearing a helmet but died of blunt force trauma to the head, a Highway Patrol crash report says. It's unclear why Garcia was stopped in the painted, triangle-shaped area between the travel land and exit ramp, known as a gore. Investigators found his motorcycle had no mechanical defects, the report says.

After the crash, Bonilla was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital to be treated for minor injuries. There, troopers noted signs that she was under the influence of alcohol, reports state. It took four hours to get a search warrant to draw her blood because of logistical problems, but the results showed her blood alcohol level at 12:53 a.m. was .093, the reports say. A driver in Florida is presumed to be impaired at .08 or higher.

Bonilla was being held without bail Tuesday in the Hillsborough County jail.

The driving restrictions imposed on her stem from her arrest Jan. 3, 2018.

About 1:45 that morning, Bonilla stole a Kia Optima from a parking in lot in front of the owner's Riverview apartment, then crashed the car while driving under the influence, arrest report says. Bonilla, who was 20 at the time, was charged with grand theft auto, DUI with property damage and reckless driving.

Bonilla pleaded guilty to the second and third charges and a judge allowed to enter a pre-trial diversion program, records show. She was sentenced to a year of probation and her license was suspended for six months.

In February of this year, she was arrested for violating her probation with a technical violation, meaning she wasn't charged with a new crime, records show. The details of the violation were not available Tuesday, but she admitted to the violation and was sentenced to 10 days in jail, among other sanctions, records show. At the time of the November crash, she was supposed to be driving only for business purposes, records show.

State law defines "business purposes" as "driving necessary to maintain livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes, and driving for church and for medical purposes."

Bonilla "chose to remain at a bar and drink after her work shift, which ended at 6 p.m.," putting her in violation of the restrictions, the arrest report says.

"It's very clear she didn't learn a lesson the first time and now she's killed someone," said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, a spokesman for the Highway Patrol. "She should have left work and gone home."

Garcia's obituary describes him as a "very vibrant soul" who could talk to anyone.

"Charlie was a generous, witty and dedicated individual who loved family and friends, the ocean, the sky and animals," the obituary says. "In short, he loved life and anyone who came across his path loved him!"

Contact Tony Marrero at or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.


  1. Tikerria Nashay Bell, 21, was arrested on a charge of attempted murder. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
    She fled with their 18-month-old daughter, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
  2. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    Police say it appears the girl was accidentally left inside the Jeep on Monday morning.
  3. The Tampa Bay Times' annual Medicare Guide explains how the program is set up, helps you compare options available in the Tampa Bay area, and points the way toward help, including free, one-on-one assistance. This illustration will grace the cover of LifeTimes on Oct. 23, when the guide will be published in print. RON BORRESEN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    As the open enrollment period begins, it’s time to review your coverage.
  4. The Medicare Handbook for 2020 is a good resource to have as the annual open enrollment period gets under way. The government usually mails beneficiaries a copy. Find a PDF version to print at, or call 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE) to order a copy. THOMAS TOBIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The open enrollment period, which lasts into December, is a time for millions of beneficiaries to review, and possibly change, their coverage.
  5. Medicare's online Plan Finder has been redesigned and is available at THOMAS TOBIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The most-used tool on will look different this year.
  6. Jim Tolbert, left, staffs a booth at a senior expo for Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, or SHINE, a state program that answers Medicare and other insurance questions. The program has scheduled a number of events around the Tampa Bay area during Medicare's open enrollment period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Times (2015)
    About 500 volunteers statewide are at the ready. They work for Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, or SHINE, now in its 28th year.
  7. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    The Fort Myers woman stepped in front of the plane and was struck.
  8. James Dailey, 73, is set to be executed on Nov. 7 for the 1985 murder of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio. Left: Dailey at his 1987 trial, where he was convicted and sentenced to death. Middle: Dailey in 1993, when he was again sentenced to die. Right: The most current photo of Dailey on Florida's Death Row. Tampa Bay Times
    James Dailey’s execution remains set for Nov. 7. On Monday, a judge denied efforts to overturn his death sentence after a former prosecutor testified.
  9. Investigators are collecting evidence at the scene of a fatal stabbing on the 4000 block of 68th Street N. The victim was trying to break into a house, the Sheriff's Office said. KATHRYN VARN   |   TIMES  |  Kathryn Varn
    The dead man had sneaked out of a group home a block away. It’s unlikely charges will be filed, the Sheriff’s Office said.
  10. Michael Psofimis is accused of molesting an 11-year-old girl. Pasco Sheriff's Office
    Deputies said the incident happened in September.