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Authorities: Driver that killed deputy was drunk

Posted at 6:58 AM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 06:58:39-04

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.

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