Jacksonville police have arrested the driver involved in a DUI crash that killed four people over a year ago.
Blake Delapaz, 21, was charged with DUI manslaughter, DUI causing serious bodily injury, DUI, DUI causing property damage, and vehicular homicide. He was booked into Duval County Jail and was ordered held on $950,000 bond. It is unclear if he has acquired the services of an attorney.
According to Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), the alleged accident occurred at approximately 5:45 p.m. June 9, 2018, on US 129 and County Road 340 in Gilchrist County. Delapaz was reportedly driving a Chevrolet Impala east on County Road 340 at a high rate of speed with four friends as passengers.
He allegedly ran a red light and stop sign at US 128 crashed into the passenger side of a Ford Explorer that was going north on the highway. The driver of the SUV, identified as Aimee Christine Williams, 28, of Gilchrist, was seriously injured.
“The vehicle that was on 340 ran through a stop sign at a flashing red light and was broadsided just beyond the fender by the Explorer, as it impacted it, it rolled down the hill,” a witness told the press.
All four of Delapaz’s passengers died in the collision. They have been identified as Hayden Raulerson, 21; Cameron Bell, 18; Isabella Garcia, 19; and Alysia Littlejohn, 20. FHP confirmed that none of the four were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Delapaz survived the collision but sustained serious injuries and was rushed to an area hospital for treatment. Blood tests reportedly revealed that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. His blood-alcohol level was .083, which is more than the legal limit for driving in Florida.
Upon hearing news of Delapaz’s arrest, Alysia Littlejohn’s mother, Elinor Littlejohn, issued a statement to the press saying it “has been a long and difficult wait for the family to learn of the results of the Florida Highway Patrol’s investigation . . . we stand with the other families in seeking justice for the senseless deaths of loved ones.”
DUI charges are serious and a conviction often leads to severe, life-changing consequences. Penalties can include jail time, driver’s license suspension, fines, court costs, community service, mandatory classes on drunk driving, vehicle impoundment, and counseling sessions.
Florida has some of the most demanding DUI laws in the U.S. because of all the deaths, particularly of young people, caused by drunk drivers. Local police departments and the Florida Highway Patrol are required to enforce these laws with a zero tolerance standard.
First time offenses that don’t involve injury or death are usually treated as a misdemeanor. First time offenders usually only receive probation with special conditions, like community service, DUI school, and driver’s license suspension—but no jail time. That said, anyone charged with a DUI should hire a qualified attorney to represent them in court. A good lawyer can challenge the evidence presented and potentially get the charges reduced or dismissed.
South Florida DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for a DUI, then you should hire an attorney. Contact Brian Silver, P.A. to set up a free initial consultation and work with one of South Florida’s most experienced DUI attorneys.