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Polk County Man Charged with DUI After Fatal Accident Involving Pedestrian

Christopher A. Koenig, a 29-year-old Lakeland man, was arrested earlier this week in Polk County after allegedly hitting a teenaged pedestrian with his car and fleeing the scene, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Koenig faces one count leaving the scene of a crash involving death and DUI causing death.

About 1:40 a.m. on Sunday morning, Koenig drove away from the Paddy Wagon Irish Pub in Lakeland with a friend in his 2012 black Ford F-150. He headed eastbound on C.R. 540-A, according to the sheriff’s report of the incident. Shortly thereafter, the truck struck Blake Dowdy, 16, also of Lakeland. Dowdy was walking westbound with a friend on the south shoulder of the county road. According to law enforcement, Dowdy was thrown 87 feet into the ditch south of the road.

The teenager’s friend told authorities that the truck then accelerated and drove away. Paramedics attempted to save Dowdy at the scene but were unsuccessful.

About 40 minutes later, Koenig called the sheriff’s office himself and reported that he hit someone with his truck while driving home from the bar. He reportedly admitted to the dispatcher that he had been drinking at the bar before driving away.

Deputies responded to Koenig’s Lakeland home and took him into custody. According to the sheriff’s report, Koenig showed physical signs of having consumed alcohol. Deputies ultimately took a blood sample from Koenig in order to have it tested for alcohol content. The blood sample is being sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement laboratory for analysis.

If convicted of DUI manslaughter, Koenig faces up to 15 years in prison.


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