LAKE WALES, Fla. (WFLA) — A man previously arrested for causing a crash that killed a 27-year-old Lake Wales woman has been charged with DUI manslaughter after the amount of alcohol in his blood was found to be more than three times the legal limit.
Mark Anthony Poe, 39, was originally charged with vehicular homicide after he was found to be the at-fault driver in the June 26 crash. He was released on $100,000 bond on July 1.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement tested Poe’s blood when he was admitted to the hospital after the crash. Analysis revealed that his blood alcohol level was 0.277 per 100 ml of blood, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08.
“At more than three times the legal limit, it is obvious Mr. Poe has a blatant disregard for life. Because of his bad decision to drive drunk, an innocent woman’s life was cut short,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. “My heart breaks for the family of the victim. And while it won’t bring back their loved one, our detectives will do all they can to hold Mr. Poe accountable for his actions.”
Around 3:20 a.m. on June 26, Poe’s truck hit a 2017 Volkswagen Jetta head-on near Stokes Road, according to deputies. There were three passengers in the truck with Poe.
PCSO said the 27-year-old driver of the Volkswagen died at the scene.
Once Poe was identified as the driver of the truck, deputies said they noted he had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol. They said they also found an open beer bottle in the back of the truck, as well as an open bottle of whiskey in the median near the the truck.