Nineteen-year-old Miguel Angelo Rivera of Tampa was charged with DUI after being involved in an injury accident on Dale Mabry Highway earlier this week. Five people were hospitalized after a crash that law enforcement claims was caused when Rivera’s car spun into oncoming traffic.
Troopers said Rivera was driving a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am north on Dale Mabry near Hillsborough Avenue with three teenage passengers in the car when he lost control of the car. The Grand Am then spun across the median and into southbound traffic. Rivera’s car came to rest in the path of a 2004 Hyundai Elantra driven by Lonnie James Glover, also of Tampa.
The Hyundai apparently crashed into the rear of the Pontiac, causing it to spin back in the opposite direction.
Edwin Rodriguez, who was sitting in the back seat of the Pontiac and not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the car into the road. He was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. The other two passengers and both drivers received minor injuries.
After he was released from the hospital, Rivera was arrested and charged with careless driving, driving with a suspended license, driving under the influence, DUI with property damage and DUI with injury. Each car reportedly sustained about $10,000 worth of damage.
If Rodriguez suffered “serious bodily injury”, Rivera could be facing a third-degree felony charge for DUI with serious bodily injury. According to Florida statute, the term “serious bodily injury” means an injury to any person, including the driver, which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
If convicted of that charge, River faces up to five years in prison.