TAMPA — A driver accused of causing a wrong-way crash that killed another motorist on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway has been charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a crash involving death and resisting arrest, records show.
Stephen Paleveda, 27, of Seffner also faces a DUI manslaughter charge pending the results of a blood alcohol test, according to an arrest report released Monday.
The report offers new details on the crash that killed 68-year-old Bamnet Narongchai and Paleveda’s behavior afterward. At one point, the report says, he jumped on a patrol car.
About 12:15 a.m., a witness saw Paleveda’s black 2005 F-350 driving recklessly in the area of S MacDill Avenue and West Hawthorne Road with the headlights off, according to the report. Police previously said the truck was an F-250 model. Paleveda failed to stop at several red lights and drove the wrong way down one-way streets, police said. The witness lost sight of the truck near West Cleveland Street.
Moments later, Paleveda entered the westbound lanes of the Selmon Expressway, heading east, at Hyde Park Avenue S and slammed head-on into Narongchai’s vehicle, police said. Police have not released the make and model of the vehicle Narongchai was driving.
Paleveda fled on foot after the crash and was found a few blocks south of the crash, stumbling in the roadway, the report says. He had facial injuries, blood stains on his shirt and apparent bruising from a seat belt on his neck and body. His eyes were bloodshot and glassy, his speech was slurred and rambling, and his breath smelled of alcohol, the report says.
"The defendant was also vulgar and unsteady on his feet, swayed and demonstrated other odd behavior including jumping on a patrol vehicle," the report says.
He refused to do field sobriety exercises and resisted officers who attempted to restrain him, according to the report.
Paleveda was taken to a hospital for treatment. Investigators drew blood for a toxicology test. Results are pending. Records show he had not yet arrived at the Hillsborough County jail by Monday morning.
Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.