TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The woman who was charged in a deadly high-speed crash in Hillsborough County faced a judge for the first time on Monday.
Jennifer Carvajal is accused of driving under the influence and causing a crash that claimed the life of one of her passengers last week and seriously injured another.
Carvajal has been in the hospital since the crash and was finally able to attend a bond hearing.
A Florida Highway Patrol Trooper says he clocked Carvajal driving more than 110 miles an hour down I-4 last week. When the trooper tried to pull her over, he said her car suddenly veered right and over an embankment and then flew into the air at a Ford Dealership.
Two of her passengers were ejected. One later died while the other suffered serious injuries.
Carvajal is now facing several charges, including DUI manslaughter, in connection with the crash. But it’s not the first time Carvajal has been involved in a DUI accident that resulted in death.
In 2014, when she was then just 16, the Plant City Police Department charged her with driving under the influence when officers said she ran a red light and hit the car of a 52-year-old newspaper delivery man, Keith Davis. Davis died as the result of the crash.
Linda Unfried is a co-founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Hillsborough County. Unfried’s sister was killed by a 17-year-old who was later convicted of driving under the influence.
“The painful part of this case is that it’s identical to the defendant in my sister’s case. The offender who did not have a driver’s license and should not have been behind the wheel,” said Unfried.
Carvajal spent time in prison after her 2015 conviction. Unfried says she needed help.
“Maybe some mental health would have helped this young girl. She clearly has no respect for life, none,” said Unfried.
Unfried also believes the person who allowed her to drive the night of the most recent crash should be accountable as well because Carvajal does not have a driver’s license and should not have been behind the wheel.
“Clearly in this case, who enabled her to get a car? Where did she get this car to drive?” she asked.
The judge did not set bond for Carvajal on Monday because she is being held on violation of probation charges from the 2015 conviction.
Carvajal’s attorney says it’s unlikely she will be getting out of jail anytime soon.