Before fatal crash, Miami lawyer was so drunk he struggled to pay parking, cops say
Prosecutors on Tuesday released video surveillance footage that may be key in proving a Miami Lakes lawyer was drunk when he plowed his Mercedes-Benz into a woman walking to a hotel from a McDonald's, killing her and scattering french fries across the road.
The first clip shows attorney Marcos Gonzalez-Balboa, after an alleged night of drinking, stumbling through a Coral Gables garage, seemingly confused and unable to figure out how to pay for his parking at an automated pay station. The second clip shows Tatum Holloway, a 26-year-old South African art auctioneer in town for a training, walking up to a Miami Lakes McDonald's drive-through, chatting with the cashier and ordering a burger and fries.
Minutes later, their lives would intersect at 1:48 a.m. Dec. 7, at the intersection of Fairway Drive and Miami Lakes Drive. Prosecutors say Gonzalez-Balboa plowed his silver Mercedes-Benz into Holloway as she walked back to her hotel, leaving her to die on the road.
The 65-year-old Gonzalez-Balboa has pleaded not guilty to charges of DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal crash.
"It's still an ongoing investigation and we are in the initial stages of reviewing the very small amount of evidence that has been provided to us so far," said his defense attorney, Madeline Acosta.
Holloway, who worked aboard cruise ships and was only in Miami for a few days, was discovered next to a storm drain on Dec. 7. Her body had been hurled more than 50 feet in the collision.
Miami-Dade traffic homicide detectives got a tip that Gonzalez-Balboa's silver 2013 Mercedes-Benz C250 was parked near his Miami Lakes office, with a damaged windshield and bumper, according to the arrest warrant. Investigators later stopped Gonzalez-Balboa, who had just had the windshield replaced and claimed it had been hit by a coconut, police said.
FBI agents analyzed his phone and found it was being used in the same area of the crash at the same time, prosecutors said.
Surveillance footage and receipts showed Gonzalez-Balboa that night had been drinking at Bulla Gastrobar in Coral Gables, buying 19 drinks, including El Jimador tequila on the rocks, margaritas and Grey Goose vodka on the rocks. How many of those drinks he downed himself was unclear — but prosecutors believe he was clearly impaired.
Footage from the Coral Gables parking garage shows Gonzalez-Balboa, in his car, trying to leave the garage. But he was unable to figure out how to pay at the machine at the exit blocked by an electronic arm. A driver in the car behind him got out and directed him to the pre-pay station.
Wearing a suit and tie, Gonzalez-Balboa stumbled out and spent nearly five minutes at the station, fumbling with the parking ticket, looking confused, the footage showed.
The video also showed the car had no damage when it left the garage shortly before the crash. Detectives also found surveillance footage from a neighbor’s house that showed Gonzalez-Balboa arrived home right after the crash — with the car damaged.
No trial date has been set.