TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A fund has been set up for the family of a 15-year-old girl who was hit and killed early Thursday morning on the Gandy Bridge by a suspected drunk driver, after the car she was in ran out of gas.
According to the Tampa Police Department, a 20-year-old man driving a 2008 silver Infiniti Q35 ran out of gas as he was driving eastbound across the Gandy Bridge. After pulling over to the left shoulder, the driver told police he could see what appeared to be a drunk driver swerving from side to side heading in his direction.
He attempted to warn his passengers, however, police say that’s when 28-year-old Sebastian Gutierrez crashed into them. Fifteen-year-old Zanyhia Arce was hit and killed in the crash.
Officers say a 20-year-old male passenger and a 17-year-old girl with Arce received minor injuries as a result of the crash.
A fund has been setup to help the teenager’s family deal with the sudden loss.
“This is a great family. I am horrified that this tragedy has happened to them,” said Ron Mitchell with MB Drywall Solutions.
Mitchell works with Arce’s brother and has become close with the family.
“Everybody is tight-knit. Everybody knows everybody and shares holidays together, so the whole office is feeling it,” he said.
Mitchell said the family needs support now more than ever. He is encouraging anyone who can to donate.
“We hope that anybody out there that can relate to losing a family member or having something like this happen can help out. They really need help and some love right now. They are (a) hard-working family. They’re a very tight-knit family. They all live together and everybody is still there helping out.”
The suspected drunk driver, Gutierrez, faces charges including DUI manslaughter. His bond was set Friday by a judge at $50,000 and ordered that he be on a GPS monitor, house arrest, and other restrictions.