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Before Deadly Crash, Car Hit 89 MPH

The Fran Haasch Law Group

TAMPA – Seconds before crashing into pedestrians on the Harbour Island Bridge last fall, killing two, a Riverview dentist hit a top speed of 89 mph, prose­cutors learned.

Matthew Moye’s blood alcohol level — 0.13 percent — exceeded the level at which the state pre­sumes impair­ment, records show.”I’m the designated driver tonight,” he said at the scene, accord­ing to a police dashboard cam­era. “I was driving those two girls around after having a party. I haven’t had anything to drink.” Those were among the details included in documents, video and audio files released Mon­day by the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office in the case against Moye, 35.

He is charged with causing the deaths of Douglas Kozar and Kate Kohlier, who were on a bridge sidewalk early Oct. 30 when Moye’s 2011 Cadillac coupe spun out of control and hit them, authorities said. A third pedes­trian broke an ankle jumping out of the way. The three had just left work at the Marriott Waterside Hotel. The records depict a bloody and chaotic scene.

Kohlier, 24, died of head inju­ries after she was slammed against the bridge’s wall. The impact threw Kozar, 23, over the wall, and he landed in a “rope­like retaining fence,” the Medi­cal Examiner’s Office reported. Heart lacerated, he died at the scene.

A data recorder that police recovered from the Cadillac put the car’s speed at 89 mph sec­onds before the crash. The speed limit on the bridge is 30 mph. Twelve weeks earlier, Moye had been cited for driving 90 mph in a 45 mph zone. He pleaded no contest, paid $341 and attended the Advanced Defensive Driving School, county records show. That was his seventh speeding ticket, state records show.

The night of the fatal crash, Moye had two people with him in the car: his wife, Kelly and a friend, Rachel Sady, both employees of his dental practice. The three had attended a Hal­loween party at the Sheraton Hotel staged by 13 Ugly Men, a Tampa social and charitable group. Moye’s wife told investigators that the party was “lame” and that the three were headed to another party at Jackson’s Bistro.

Officers noted that Moye wore black contact lenses as part of a Halloween costume. Outside the contacts, his eyes appeared red and bloodshot the report said and his breath smelled of alcohol. Moye refused to take a breath test, police reported. At the scene, he was initially unaware anyone had been hurt. An officer wrote in his report that Moye became argumentative. “Why do you keep looking at me?” Moye reportedly said. “I didn’t do anything wrong. All I did was pass a cab and lose con­trol.”

Kelly Moye sat on a bench and complained about damage to the car, the report stated it’s unclear whether anyone told her about victims. “I told Matt not to drive,” she told police. “I told him he shouldn’t of drove. But look at my car... My poor hundred thousand car is totaled. I worked so hard for that”.

Matthew Moye began to fight with police officers, hitting an officer’s hand and pushing his chest, the report said. Officers wrestled him to the ground and put him in handcuffs. His wife jumped on an offi­cer’s back and was also hand­cuffed, the report said. The pas­senger, Sady, was handcuffed after she tried to walk away. Nei­ther woman has been charged.

In statements to detectives, the two said they did not remem­ber much about the crash. They said they had not seen Moye drink that night “Honestly, I drank more than probably everyone else in the car,” Kelly Moye said, “so I really don’t know what happened.” Her husband faces seven charges: two counts each of vehicular homicide, DUI man­slaughter and DUI with prop­erty damage or personal injury, and one count of battery on a law enforcement officer.

No trial date has been set. While the criminal case is pending, a judge ordered Moye not to drive or consume alcohol, and to remain home between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7a.m. He is still a practicing dentist with an active license. At the crash scene, after he was read his rights, Moye complained profanely, about his treatment by police and said he planned to sue, according to video.

His demeanor changed when, finally, an officer told him that two people had died in the acci­dent. “Are you serious?” Moye asked “I’m very serious,” the officer responded. The officer started to explain that Moye would be required to submit to a blood draw. “You’re kidding me,” Moye said The officer said he knew it was a shock. “It’s a HUGE shock,” Moye said Staff writers Colleen Jenkins.

Jessica Va nder Velde and Alexandra Zayas and items researcher John Martin contributed to this report. St Petersburg Times Pinellas County March 1, 2011


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