Authorities: Driver was drunk in crash that killed Florida deputy

Published: Updated:

BRANDON, Fla. (AP) – Authorities say a wrong-way driver who hit and killed a Florida sheriff’s deputy was drunk when the collision took place.

In a statement released Monday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office tells news outlets that toxicology tests showed Erik Thomas McBeth had a blood-alcohol level of 0.27 when the March 12 crash happened. That’s more than three times the level of 0.08 at which the state presumes a driver is impaired.

Authorities say 31-year-old McBeth was heading the wrong way on the Selmon Expressway early that morning in Brandon when he struck Hillsborough sheriff’s Deputy John Kotfila Jr.’s patrol cruiser head-on.

McBeth was pronounced dead at the scene. Thirty-year-old Kotfila was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.