TAMARAC, Fla. (WSVN) — A man charged with DUI manslaughter is being held on a $50,000 bond after a deadly car crash in Tamarac, early Sunday morning.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, 40-year old Conan Acevedo was drunk when he ran a red light in his SUV and slammed into a car, killing 18-year-old Nicolas Garcia.
Surveillance video captured the deadly collision near West McNab Road and Northwest 70th Avenue, just before 2:30 a.m.
Eric Balaban, the manager of nearby Tubby’s Drive-Thru Convenience Store, said he heard the crash. “I still heard the sound. I knew immediately someone was in a very bad accident,” he said.
Balaban said the crash could be heard from about 400 yards away. “The people that live in the building told me it shook the building,” said Balaban. “You gotta realize, he was making a left here; he got pushed about 50 to 60 feet, so he went sideways, 60 feet. The guy had to have blown the light doing at least 70 [mph], at least 70.”
Balaban told 7News he is feeling very fortunate because if he had been at that intersection 30 seconds later, he may not be alive. “It could have been me. I was the car right before him,” he said.
Balaban later shot cellphone video of Garcia being airlifted to Broward Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Officials said Acevedo refused treatment at the scene. He was found to have a blood alcohol level of .18 and was placed under arrest.
Balaban said he did everything he could to help Garcia. “I’ve always felt pretty lucky, but at that point, you don’t feel lucky for yourself,” he said. “You feel bad for everybody else, and my heart goes out to the family because, like I just told my boss, your spend your whole life trying to help your children to be the best that they can be, and 18 years just isn’t enough.”
Monday morning, Acevedo’s family sat in a Fort Lauderdale courtroom as the suspect faced a judge. They declined to comment on the case.
Acevedo is being held on a $50,000 bond for DUI manslaughter charges.
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