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Truck driver arrested in Tampa crash that killed jogger had BAC of 0.234, police say

Posted at 10:13 AM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 10:14:29-05

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Police Department is investigating a DUI crash that killed a jogger.

The fatal crash happened on Bayshore Boulevard around 11:13 a.m. on Thursda, near the intersection of W. Julia Avenue.

According to police, the driver of a Pinch A Penny truck, later identified as 31-year-old Benjamin Ehas, veered off Bayshore and struck the jogger.

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The impact caused the jogger, whose identity is not being released due to Marsy's Law, to fall over the concrete barrier and into the Tampa Bay.

A test of Ehas' blood at the hospital drew a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.234, police said. He was charged with vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter.

During a news conference, police said two good Samaritans jumped over the barrier to pull the adult male out of the water before fire rescue crews arrived.

Christopher Martinez, one of the witnesses, said the truck drove erratically before hitting the Bayshore sidewalk wall and the jogger. Martinez said he tried to rescue the jogger who was knocked into the water.

"I don't know how anyone survives that," said Martinez.

The jogger was rushed to a nearby hospital, but was later pronounced dead.

Police said speed may have been a factor in the crash.

A large portion of the concrete barrier was damaged from the crash impact.

Ehas was taken to the hospital and "is expected to survive."

Pinch A Penny released the following statement:

"Pinch A Penny is shocked and saddened by the tragic incident that occurred this morning involving an employee of a franchised location in Tampa. An investigation is currently underway and the local franchisee is fully cooperating with authorities. We send our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those involved."

This story was originally published by staff at WFTS.