A South Florida man is facing a DUI manslaughter charge and now a wrongful death suit for an accident last month that killed a doctor-turned-vodka maker. The accident occurred as the two were crossing the Miami Beach's MacArthur Causeway in the defendant's Lamborghini.
The 53-year-old defendant who was driving the car owns a company that does printing and graphics and lives in a multimillion-dollar condo in Coconut Grove. The car that he was allegedly speeding in at over 100 miles per hour is part of a fleet of luxury cars he owns. According to authorities, he crashed into an SUV that was stopped at a light, seriously injuring the driver.
Miami Beach police say the defendant, who remains hospitalized, had a blood-alcohol level of more than .17, which is over twice the legal limit, some 40-plus minutes after the crash. He is scheduled to be arraigned later this month.
The two men had reportedly been out on the town in South Beach earlier in the evening. The doctor, who lived in New York City, had reportedly come to Miami to discuss the defendant's interest in becoming an investor in the vodka company.
The 42-year-old victim, known affectionately by colleagues and friends as "Dr. Vodka," gained success in two very different fields. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and then Dartmouth Medical School, he went on to start a company called Old Nassau Imports that features a brand of vodka called Double Cross Vodka. Goldman Sachs named him one of the 100 top innovators in the country on two different occasions.
The victim never completely left his roots in medicine. He was a consultant at Johns Hopkins' bio-engineering school. He also helped fund student medical engineering projects. He is survived by his wife, a former Broadway actress and two young sons. His wife filed the wrongful death suit.
Sometimes when fatal accidents occur, family members wait until after a plea deal or a trial to file wrongful death charges against an at-fault driver. Others decide to file them immediately. Florida attorneys can advise loved ones on the best course of action for their particular situation.
Source: The Miami Herald, "Wife of ‘Dr. Vodka’ suing driver in Miami Beach Lamborghini wreck" David Ovalle, May. 05, 2014