LAKELAND, Fla. – Traffic Homicide detectives from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office have arrested a man responsible for a fatal crash that occurred Saturday night, January 28, 2023, on New Tampa Highway (US 92) in Lakeland.
Deputies say 25-year-old Leonardo Barrera Zurita of Lakeland has been charged with: DUI-Manslaughter (F2), Driving without a License with a Crash Involving Death (F3), DUI with Injury (M1), and DUI with Property Damage (M1).
Analysis of Zurita’s blood following the crash revealed a blood-alcohol level of .156 (content above 0.08 is considered impaired).
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A 51-year-old Lakeland man was killed in the crash.
“PCSO deputies make dozens of arrests for DUI each month, and the untimely death of the victim is an example why. Law enforcement everywhere is out there trying to prevent deaths, injuries, and property damages from those who make the inexcusable decision to operate a motor vehicle while impaired,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
The crash happened at 11:55 pm Saturday night, about 1,000 feet east of the Polk Parkway.
Detectives determined that the black 2009 Chevrolet pick-up truck that Zurita was driving crossed over the center line and struck the victim’s white 2004 Toyota pickup.
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Zurita suffered a broken femur and hand from the crash. His 32-year-old passenger received bruises and abrasions, and was treated and released from the hospital.
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