Skylar Davis of Pensacola, Florida was arrested Saturday after he was accused of driving on the wrong side of a road and striking another car, killing the driver and injuring the passenger. Davis, 28, was booked into the Escambia County Jail on multiple charges, including DUI manslaughter, DUI with damage to property, and DUI with serious bodily injury. Davis’s bail bond has been set at $115,000. Russell Sheppard, 57, and his daughter Kathryn Sheppard, 24, were in the other car; Russell apparently died on impact, and Kathryn is in the hospital with critical injuries. It is unclear whether the Sheppard family plans to pursue legal action, nor is it known whether Davis has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
Russell and Kathryn Sheppard were reportedly headed down Nine Mile Road near North Minister Lane in Pensacola when the accident occurred. Davis, who was allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, was driving on the opposite side of the road when he reportedly moved into the wrong lane of traffic. That is where it collided with Sheppard’s car, Florida Highway Patrol said. The reason for the sudden lane change remains a mystery.
When Escambia County Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene, they found Sheppard dead. His daughter survived the crash but sustained critical injures. Emergency responders rushed her to the Sacred Heart Hospital. Her current condition is not publicly known.
Davis also survived the crash, but was injured. Luckily, he had no passengers at the time. Emergency medical workers transported him to the West Florida Hospital with serious injuries. Police arrested him following his release from the facility.
Unfortunately, this was not the only fatal accident in Florida recently. One man was killed when a car overturned in Gadsden County Sunday over the weekend, sources say. Franklin Weston Jr. and his passenger, Reginald Bullock, were driving west on County Road 12 when Weston lost control of the vehicle and it overturned into a ditch. Weston, 31, and Bullock, 36, were taken to Tallahassee hospital, where Bullock was pronounced dead. No arrests have been made in the accident, and it has not been determined why Weston suddenly lost control of the car.
Reports say the two were headed westbound when Weston’s 2005 Malibu Chevrolet swerved onto the shoulder of the road for an undetermined reason. Weston, Florida Highway Patrol says, then steered to the left to counter the move. However, the sudden jerk was apparently too much for the vehicle, which went into a counterclockwise spin. The car then traveled across the east and westbound lanes before entering a ditch on the south shoulder, flipping over, and coming to a rest on its roof. Bullock, sources say, was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident.
Although it is not known whether alcohol was a factor in Weston’s crash, it certainly is in many car accidents. To counteract this, the Florida Highway Patrol has announced that they will be patrolling interstate and major state roads as part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” movement. The operation will last from August 31 to September 3, sources say.
The goal, Florida Highway Patrol said, is to get intoxicated drivers off the road for good. Law enforcement and high safety agencies all over the nation are participating, and the campaign will be most vigilant over the Labor Day holiday, sources say. “In an effort to get drunk and drugged drivers off the roads, FHP troopers will aggressively look for impaired drivers during the crackdown,” a spokesperson told reporters. The campaign will also seek to discourage people from committing traffic violations to ensure safer driving during the holiday.