Rosa Maria Rivera-Kim of Plantation, Florida was charged with the March death of Alanna DeMella today, reports indicate. Rivera-Kim, 24, was reportedly arrested at approximately 2:00 p.m. on charges of DUI manslaughter with an unlawful blood alcohol level, DUI manslaughter with impairment, and DUI property damage. It is not yet known whether she has qualified for bail bond.
The car accident in question, which made international headlines, occurred on March 18 at approximately 1:30 p.m. in a cabana located in the pool area of Riverside Hotel. The hotel is located on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Rivera-Kim later explained to investigators that she had been on her way back from lunch with her husband when the crash occurred. She had reportedly just started eating at a Mangos Restaurant and Lounge, located at 904 E. Las Olas Boulevard, when she and her husband got into an argument. Rivera-Kim told investigators that she became upset and left, leaving her half-finished appetizers and martini at the restaurant.
Rivera-Kim reported that as she drove by the hotel, she lost control of her silver 2006 Audi, sources indicate. Coverage of the accident says that Rivera-Kim crossed an eastbound lane of the road and crashed into the cabana-style bathroom near the pool of the hotel. Alanna DeMella, 27 and seven months pregnant, was reportedly using the facility at the time of the crash. Sources indicate that she died on impact. Witnesses at the hotel reported that the cabana partially collapsed when the car hit it.
A witness later told police that Rivera-Kim had been going over the 25 mile per hour speed limit posted on the road, according to reports. Rivera-Kim reportedly told investigators at the crash site that she did not remember hitting the building. Toxicology reports of blood taken from Rivera-Kim at the crash site showed that her blood alcohol level at the time of the collision was 0.24%. The legal blood alcohol percentage for operating a motor vehicle is 0.08%.
Rivera-Kim was treated at Broward General Medical Center for undisclosed injuries following the accident. According to press reports, Rivera-Kim had a no criminal history and a clear driving record before the crash. DeMella’s husband, which whom DeMella had come to Florida, reportedly suffered minor injuries in the collision and was treated at Broward General as well.
It later emerged that the DeMellas had attended a convention for Christian newlyweds and that their trip to Florida had been paid for by their Medford, Massachusets church. They had won the trip in a contest through the church, according to reports. The couple reportedly decided to stay in Florida for an extra day following the convention to relax before returning home.
The seven-month-old fetus that DeMella was carrying was set to be named Joshua, according to family members. Rivera-Kim was not charged with the fetus’ death due to Florida laws. In fact, a bill called the Offenses Against Unborn Children Bill was denied on March 9, 2012, near the date of the accident. The bill was reportedly meant to make it possible to charge defendants with double homicide in the event that a pregnant woman was killed.