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A driver accused of being drunk behind the wheel during a rollover crash on Alligator Alley in Broward County that killed one person and sent 15 others to the hospital has been arrested, authorities said Wednesday.
Nisbany Surit Garcias, 30, is facing charges including DUI manslaughter, DUI causing serious bodily injury and DUI with damage to the property or person of another, according to an arrest report.
A Florida Highway Patrol report said Surit Garcias, from Fort Myers, was driving a Ford F-150 in the southbound lanes of I-75 near mile marker 41 Tuesday when it collided with a Ford F-350 passenger van with 15 people from Minnesota inside, including children as young as 4.
Both vehicles rolled over, and one of the passengers was ejected. That passenger, 21-year-old Lauren Vanreese, of Andover, Minnesota, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Five other people were airlifted to a local hospital. The rest were treated at the scene.
According to the arrest report, witnesses had seen the truck driving reckless and nearly causing crashes before the fatal crash. Broward Sheriff’s deputies and medical personnel who responded to the scene said Surit Garcias appeared impaired and smelled of an alcoholic beverage, the report said.
After Surit Garcias was taken to the hospital, a trooper who spoke with him said his speech was slurred, his eyes were heavily bloodshot and watery, and he had a strong smell of alcoholic beverage coming from him, the report said.
A blood test taken from Surit Garcias at the hospital showed a blood alcohol level of .182, over Florida’s legal level of .08, the report said.
Surit Garcias was being held without bond Wednesday, jail records showed. Attorney information wasn’t available.