St. Petersburg man was street racing drunk in fatal crash, Tampa police say – Tampa Bay Times

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A St. Petersburg man is facing multiple charges after police say he was driving under the influence of alcohol and racing another driver when he crashed, killing one of his passengers and seriously hurting two others.
According to an arrest affidavit from the Tampa Police Department, Cristobal Gil Fernandez, 33, was driving a 2008 Infiniti G35 west on East Busch Boulevard about 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday when he “engaged in an unlawful street race with another vehicle.” Gil Fernandez struck an uninvolved vehicle in the inside lane, then lost control and struck a concrete light pole on the north side of the road, the report states.
Police say four passengers were in Gil Fernandez’s car at the time of the crash. Alexander Medina Herrera, 40, died at the scene. Glorielsie Velazquez Aponte, 52, and Yordanka Hernandez Hechavarria, 44, were taken to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition. Both Velazquez Aponte and Hernandez Hechavarria “sustained multiple fractures, spinal injuries, and lacerations and required surgery,” the report states.
A fourth passenger, Yasniel Fernandez, 42, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Gil Fernandez was also taken to Tampa General Hospital with rib fractures “consistent with those of an unrestrained driver striking the steering wheel during a crash,” the report says. Blood samples showed Gil Fernandez’s blood-alcohol level was above 0.08, the threshold at which Florida law presumes someone is unable to safely drive a motor vehicle.
Police found several Heineken beer cans in Gil Fernandez’s car, the report states. During an interview with Gil Fernandez, a detective smelled alcohol and observed that his eyes appeared bloodshot and glassy, the report states.
Gil Fernandez has never held a driver’s license in the United States, the report states, adding that he has previously been cited and convicted for driving without a license in Wisconsin. The racing activity and crash were captured on video, according to the report.
Gil Fernandez was arrested Friday on charges including DUI manslaughter, DUI with serious bodily injury, vehicular homicide, DUI with property damage or personal injury and driving without a license causing death or serious injury. Records show he was being held at a Hillsborough County jail without bond Monday.
In 2022, Gil Fernandez pleaded no contest to reckless driving after he was caught doing “a 360-degree donut in the middle of Waters Avenue” in Town ’N Country, court records show. A judge sentenced him to six months’ probation and ordered him to attend driver safety school and complete 10 hours of community service. In August of that year, he was arrested for violating probation by failing to meet those conditions and for failing to pay court costs and fines. He spent 11 days in jail. At a hearing in February 2023, a judge revoked his probation and sentenced him to time served.
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Times staff writer Tony Marrero contributed to this report.
Editor, Breaking News
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