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For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Laura McElroy, Tampa Police Spokesperson
(813) 276-3779
 
Suspect Charged With DUI Crash that Killed Three People last September
 
Tampa, FL February 7, 2011 -

SUSPECT: Ernest Smith, B/M, DOB: 5/8/90, 3201 East 22nd Avenue, Tampa
CHARGES: DUI Manslaughter (3 counts) Vehicular Homicide (3 Counts)

VICTIM: Walter Charles Givens, B/M, 7/28/43, 3108 East Chelsea Street (Deceased on scene-Driver)

VICTIM: Dione B. Givens, B/F, 10/24/64, 3108 East Chelsea Street (Deceased on scene- Front Seat Passenger)

VICTIM: Helen Cummings, B/F, DOB: 8/27/52, 4107 Great Oak Court (Ejected from vehicle, transported to Tampa General Hospital and pronounced deceased-rear passenger)

Detectives have determined the suspect was speeding and under the influence of alcohol as he approached the intersection of 34th Street and Chelsea Avenue and struck the victims' vehicle. The husband and wife in the front seat of their 1995 Buick Century died at the scene. Their rear passenger was ejected and died at Tampa General Hospital. The event data recorder in the suspect's Dodge Charger showed he was going 84 miles an hour as he approached the intersection southbound on 34th Street. Blood test taken at the hospital show he was under the influence. Detectives obtained a warrant and arrested Smith at 4:30pm this afternoon at his home without incident.

Laura McElroy
TPD PIO

PREVIOUS RELEASE

Three Killed in Traffic Accident

When: Thursday, September 2 @ 8:41 p.m.
Where: 34th Street and Chelsea Avenue

Vehicle 1: White 2008 Dodge Charger
Driver: Ernest Smith, B/M, 5/9/90, 3201 East 22nd Avenue, Tampa (Taken to Tampa General Hospital)
Passenger: Patrick Cover, B/M, 8/25/80, 3507 North Clay Street, Tampa (Taken to St. Joseph's Hospital)
Passenger: DeAndre Bugg, B/M, 3/8/88, 3202 East 24th Avenue, Tampa (Taken to St. Joseph's Hospital)

Vehicle 2: 1995 Blue Buick
Driver: Walter Charles Givens, B/M, 7/28/43, 3108 East Chelsea Street (Deceased on scene)
Passenger: Dione B. Givens, B/F, 10/24/64, 3108 East Chelsea Street (Deceased on scene)
Passenger: 58 year old, B/F, Detectives have tentatively identified the third passenger, but they are waiting for a fingerprint comparison for 100% identification. (Ejected from vehicle, transported to Tampa General Hospital and pronounced deceased)

Details: The driver of the Charger was traveling south on 34th street and the blue Buick was traveling East on Chelsea. The vehicles collided and the back seat passenger in the Buick was ejected from the vehicle. Tampa Fire Rescue extracted the driver and front seat passenger from the vehicle and they were pronounced deceased at the scene. They were husband and wife. The ejected passenger was transported to Tampa General Hospital where she was pronounced deceased. The driver and the two passengers in the Charger have non- life threatening injuries. Detectives are investigating all aspects of the crash to determine if speed and or alcohol and drugs were a contributing factor to the crash. It could be days or weeks before investigators know what caused the crash, who was fault and if there will be any criminal charges.


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