On October 19th, 2019 at approximately 8:50 p.m., the affiant State Trooper was dispatched to a traffic crash at the intersection of County Road 452 and Emeralda Island Road within unincorporated Leesburg, Lake County, Florida. They arrived on the scene at approximately 9:13 p.m. and observed two pickup trucks on the east shoulder with heavy front damage and all airbags deployed.
The driver of vehicle two was identified and transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital by Lake EMS with incapacitating serious bodily injuries. The right-front passenger of vehicle two was pronounced deceased due to the injuries she had sustained by Lake County Paramedics at 9:01 p.m. The trooper then observed that vehicle one had sustained heavy left front damage and all airbags had been deployed.
Based on the evidence the Trooper observed on the roadway including gouge marks, fluid trail, and vehicle parts, they determined that vehicle one had been traveling eastbound on Emeralda Road and vehicle two had been traveling southbound on County Road 452, and vehicle two failed to stop at the posted stop sign, causing the crash. The force of the collision redirected both vehicles towards the southeast, impacting a standing utility pole and a standing fence before coming to a final rest in a grassy field.
The trooper was approached by LCSO Sergeant who said he observed the driver of vehicle one–Ricardo Galvan Ojeda–behind the wheel and in physical control of the vehicle immediately after the traffic crash occurred. The trooper then contacted Ojeda as he was being evaluated by paramedics. As they asked Ojeda if he knew what happened, he seemed confused and only mumbled responses, staring at the ground. The trooper asked him to look at them and speak louder so that they could understand his responses. Upon doing so, it became apparent that Ojeda had been under the influence of alcohol based on the distinct odor emitting from Ojeda as he spoke, as well as the glassy appearance of his eyes.
Ojeda advised that he had been on County Road 452 but couldn’t advise a direction of travel, going to a friend’s house via GPS. When asked if he’d had any alcohol before the crash, he stated that he did, consuming two beers around 5’oclock.
At 10:01 p.m., another State Trooper and a Sergeant with the Florida Highway Patrol arrived on the scene. The other trooper approached Ojeda to speak with him and also believed him to be under the influence of alcohol. Ojeda was asked if he would be willing to provide a voluntary blood sample, to which he agreed. Due to the injuries, Ojeda sustained in the crash, field sobriety exercises were not administered. Ojeda was then placed under arrest for DUI manslaughter for causing the death of the passenger in vehicle two, and DUI with serious bodily injuries for injuries caused to the driver of vehicle two.
Odeja was transported to Advent Health Waterman Hospital in Tavares for medical clearance before being transported to Lake County Jail. During the medical evaluation, Odeja’s BAC was determined to be greater than .08. Odeja was then transported to the Orlando Regional Medical Center due to his injuries and was remanded to the custody of an LCSO Corrections Deputy.