A UF student faces felony charges after turning herself in last week for a hit-and-run accident in 2011 that killed two Sanford, Fla., motorcyclists.
The Florida Highway Patrol charged Rita Laurie Carter, 20, of DeLand, with two counts of leaving the scene of a fatal crash and two counts of driving under the influence manslaughter, among other charges, according to an FHP news release.
Carter is currently a UF student studying telecommunication, according to her Facebook page.
The crash happened at about 4:20 a.m. Oct. 16, 2011, after Carter, driving her 2007 Ford Explorer westbound on Interstate 4 near State Road 44, hit the back of a motorcycle driven by Javier Remonsanzol, then 34.
The force threw Remonsanzol and his passenger, Allison Sellers, then 32, from the bike, according to an FHP crash report.
Remonsanzol was thrown into the road, and Sellers landed on the highway shoulder. Neither of them were wearing helmets. Multiple cars hit Remonsanzol while he lay in the road, including a Chevrolet Impala that struck a tree and caught fire trying to avoid him, according to the report.
Paramedics pronounced Remonsanzol and Sellers dead at the scene.
Meanwhile, Carter, who was 19 at the time of the crash, pulled off the interstate and drove to New York Avenue in DeLand, where her car broke down, said FHP spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes.
A police officer on his way to the crash recognized Carter’s car and detained her.
However, officials didn’t have enough evidence to charge Carter in connection with the accident, Montes said.
“Any time you have a hit and run, it’s a very labor-intensive, long, procedural process to prove who the driver is,” she said.
Carter’s blood alcohol content was reported to be .043 three and a half hours after the crash. Using her reported blood alcohol content level, investigators mathematically predicted Carter’s blood alcohol content level at the time of the crash to be .095, which is over the .08 legal limit, Montes said.
After a year-and-a-half-long investigation, FHP connected Carter to the accident and issued a warrant for her arrest March 11, Montes said. Carter turned herself in at the FHP DeLand station later that day.
Montes could not provide further details on the investigation.
Contact Kathryn Varn at [email protected].