FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The driver who took the life of a young woman and injured dozens of others in a crash along Alligator Alley was driving under the influence, according to traffic homicide detectives.
Four of the 13 victims injured in the crash are currently being treated at Broward Health Medical Center, Wednesday.
The Florida Highway Patrol troopers believe that drunk driving played a part in this deadly crash.
They have since arrested the driver, identified as 31-year-old Nisbany Garcias.
Investigators said he had a blood alcohol limit of .182, which is more than double the legal limit.
FHP said the Fort Meyers driver was traveling eastbound in a Ford F-150 on Alligator Alley, just before 6 p.m., Tuesday. That’s when, officials said, he slammed into the back of a passenger van carrying 15 people from Minnesota.
All passengers were injured and a 21-year-old woman was thrown from that van and killed.
More than a dozen others were rushed to area hospitals.
Officials said they heard reports of a reckless driver in a black F-150 and were already on the lookout for that vehicle before the wreck happened.
Both the truck and the van rolled over several times.
“The pickup truck hit the van from the rear,” said FHP Lt. Alvaro Feola. “That caused the van’s driver to lose control.”
Traffic was stopped in both directions for hours due to the crash.
“I mean, it’s traumatizing,” said driver Rosie Romano. “I can’t imagine what’s going through their mind, you know? I feel very sorry for them.”
Driver Sol Glastein was shocked by the crash and tried to remain patient.
“Very dramatic pictures. Oh, my Lord,” said Glastein, “and on a highway where there’s no real support, there’s no exits, there’s no facilities, and everybody has to just stop both ways to figure this out.”
Garcias has been charged with DUI.
The cause of the crash officially remains under investigation.
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