Nicholas Castelao of Hialeah, Florida is accused of crashing a stolen vehicle into and killing Lyft driver Robert Torra while under the influence of crystal meth and cocaine, Miami prosecutors announced Tuesday.
According to the arrest report, the alleged crash occurred on March 26 at the intersection of SW 17th Street and SW 25th Avenue in Little Havana. Torra was driving a Volkswagen Jetta with four passengers aboard when Castelao, who was reportedly driving a stolen BMW, crashed into him. Torra died at the scene. His passengers suffered non-life threatening injuries and were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Their identities have not been disclosed.
“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragic accident,” Lyft said in a statement to the press. “We have been in contact with Robert’s family during this unimaginably difficult time, and are available to support law enforcement in their investigation.”
Castelao was also taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital with a broken leg. He allegedly told a nurse that he was high on meth. Medical personnel searched his pockets for his ID and reportedly found three bags of what is believed to be crystal meth.
Police also found a drug pipe outside Castelao’s BMW. Tests of his urine and blood later revealed that he was under the influence of meth and cocaine. DUI cases involving a driver high on crystal meth are extremely rare in Miami, though alcohol and other drugs are the common culprits in South Florida.
“It’s the only time I’ve ever seen a DUI case where the influence is meth,” Sally Matson, a victim advocate of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, told The Miami Herald. “It’s just not something you see in Miami.”
Castelao was initially arrested on a grand theft charge for stealing the BMW and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute for the three bags of meth allegedly found in his pockets. DUI manslaughter has now been added to his charges.
Another DUI case was reported in Jupiter last Friday. Ebony Smith is accused of driving in the wrong direction while under the influence of alcohol and attempting to escape from a police officer. Smith, 38, is being charged with DUI and obstructing an officer without violence. She is being held at Palm Beach County Jail on $6,000 bond. News sources did not name an attorney for her.
According to the arrest report, Smith drove in the wrong direction on Alternate State A1A near Trump National Golf Club. The officers who stopped Smith said she smelled of alcohol and placed her under arrest.
Smith was taken to jail, where she complained about having “numb feet and hands” and was transported to a hospital on the recommendation of nurses at the jail. At the hospital, Smith reportedly attempted to run away and knocked over an elderly patient. She was tackled by police and taken back to jail.