Cleveland Browns player Donte Stallworth is out on $200,000 bail after killing a pedestrian in Miami on March 14. He was driving his 2005 Bentley at 50 mph in a 40 mph zone on the busy MacArthur causeway. He had spent the night drinking at Club Liv in the upscale Fontainebleau hotel on South Beach. His blood alcohol level, tested at the accident scene, was 0.126 according to the Affidavit. Florida’s limit is 0.08 like all other states.
The pedestrian killed was a construction crane operator who had been working the night shift. He was crossing the causeway, but not in a crosswalk, planning to get a bus home. Stallworth apparently flashed his lights as a warning and honked his horn, but did not slow down. The pedestrian sustained severe head, chest, and abdominal injuries and later died at a nearby hospital.
When police arrived he was standing next to his car and the Affidavit quotes him as telling the officers, “I hit the man lying in the road.” One of the officers noticed the alcohol on Stallworth’s breath and reported that his eyes were red.
On April 2 he was charged with DUI manslaughter, a felony which could bring him four to 15 years in prison. While on bail, Stallworth cannot drive or drink alcohol and must obey a curfew midnight to 6 a.m. The NFL’s substance abuse program will also test him randomly for drug and alcohol use. He can spend time in Ohio as well as Florida but must notify the court before traveling.
An arraignment is scheduled for April 23. His attorney, Christopher Lyons told reporters that he plans to defend the drunk driving accusations vigorously and that his client is “grief-stricken about the incident” and “very emotional.” The Browns have released a statement expressing their disappointment in Stallworth’s actions and the NFL league commissioner is reviewing the whole situation.
Automobile accidents can happen so suddenly and change the lives of everyone concerned. Alcohol consumption is too often a cause. This auto accident deprived a family of their wage-earner and damaged or perhaps ended a professional sports career. Two families are plunged into grief.
If you have been injured in a car accident and would like to know more about your legal situation, please call or email our auto accident attorneys today for a free case evaluation.