Drinking and driving is always an enormous risk. When too much alcohol consumption negatively affects others besides the inebriated driver, it adds a disturbing level of danger to innocent bystanders.
That appears to be what took place over the weekend in Port St. Lucie. Thirty-seven-year-old Jillian Butler was behind the wheel of her red Nissan Altima traveling east on Port St. Lucie Boulevard just before 9 p.m.
Apparently intoxicated, her car collided with a black Mercedes R350. Unfortunately, this initial collision led to a domino effect, where the Mercedes then made contact with a blue Hyundai Elantra, which in turn hit a gray Hyundai Kona.
The people in the Mercedes were both taken to a local hospital after being treated for what are being called non-life-threatening injuries. However, a nine-year-old girl riding in the Altima with Butler was not as fortunate, as she was airlifted to the hospital with more severe injuries. The relationship between Butler and the young girl in the car has not been confirmed at this time.
Butler herself had some minor injuries that were treated at the hospital but was shortly arrested thereafter by Port St. Lucie Traffic Homicide Investigators. She was taken to St. Lucie County Jail and charged with driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injury to another.
It is believed that no notable injuries were suffered by the occupants of the Elantra and the Hyundai.
This incident underscores the need to plan ahead or come up with alternatives to get home after a night of drinking. Having a designated driver or utilizing a ride-sharing service could have avoided an arrest and multiple injuries in this scenario.
Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath has offices in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and Port St. Lucie. As a pillar of the South Florida community, the impact of these events is also felt by the firm as it stands ready to assist residents during a trying accident. They can be reached at (561) 655-1990.