Crime

Wrong-way crash on turnpike killed two. Seven months later, the driver has been jailed

Troopers on Wednesday night arrested a 28-year-old woman they say was drunk and high when she drove into oncoming traffic on the Florida Turnpike in Kendall, crashing into an oil truck and causing a multi-car crash that killed two people in September.

Kritzia Lopez was charged with multiple counts of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and DUI causing serious bodily harm. She was scheduled to be booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, and will make her first appearance in Miami-Dade court on Thursday morning.

The crash happened when Lopez missed a ramp and made a U-turn, driving south into northbound traffic. She struck a Tropic Oil truck, which in turn hit a Chevrolet Impala and a Ford van, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Killed in the mangled Impala were Rene Hernandez, 68, and Natalia Landin, 67. Their backseat passenger, Mirta Estupinan, 67, was badly hurt.

The turnpike had to be shut down for hours as hazardous-waste crews cleaned up leaking fuel from the tanker truck.

Lopez told Miami-Dade Police Officer Richard Closius, a DUI expert brought in to assist the FHP, that she “felt guilty” about what happened — and her eyes were glassy, her breath smelling of alcohol, according to an arrest warrant.

Police took two blood samples form Lopez. Three and a half hours after the crash, her blood alcohol level was .04, leading investigators to calculate she was over the legal limit of .08 when she drove into oncoming traffic.

Her blood also tested for a high level of marijuana, according to the warrant by FHP Trooper Rudy Regis.

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