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Suspect who Fled Tampa, FL Crash Receives 12 Years for Fatal Accident

Terrible car accidents are a constant headache for police personnel. Catching the erring driver usually means pursuing the intoxicated driver for several blocks, getting them to pull over, and then testing them for alcohol.

Some of these drunk drivers are belligerent and aggressive and police personnel have to struggle to get them to cooperate. Unfortunately, a few of these arrested drivers manage to hire solid accident attorney Tampa FL firms and they are able to get back on the road, doing more damage to life and property. Garrett Bruce has a similar story but rare one as well.

Most DUI drivers only make the mistake once.

Absconding Driver Caught after Two Years

Garrett Bruce was not like most other DUI drivers. On the night of December 2011, Bruce was driving drunk when he rammed his vehicle into a concrete pole. Although he was driving, he did not sustain any injuries. The situation was not the same for his friend and passenger 26-year-old Patrick Vosbein. Both men were colleagues at a local branch of Papa John’s Pizza in Tarpon Springs. Vosbein was in the back seat of the car at the time of the accident.

Bruce, who was intoxicated, was driving at a maximum speed of 104 mph when he rammed into the pole. Vosbein was literally thrown out of the vehicle and died on the spot. Vosbein was engaged to be married at the time of his accident and fiancée Leah Selevan was devastated. Vosbein’s parents too were shocked and they were still trying to piece their lives together when they were hit with another shock.

Immediately after the accident, Bruce was arrested and charged with a DUI-manslaughter. He pleaded no contest but in early 2014, he absconded to Texas with his family to avoid prosecution. According to Brian, he wanted his family to settle down somewhere else and he wanted to prepare them for his absence in case he was sentenced. Bruce, 33, was captured in February as he failed to show up for a pretrial hearing.

Not the Brightest Person Around

To prevent him from fleeing, the court had attached a GPS ankle bracelet to Bruce. However, Bruce removed the tracker and this alerted police officials immediately. Bruce was arrested on his way to Houston with his wife and two sons. Apparently he never watched the show House. Removing that ankle bracelet does not work.

Current Situation

Vosbein’s fiancée and parents have been demanding the maximum penalty but Bruce’s accident attorney Tampa FL, Rex Blake has been fighting the request. Bruce is facing a maximum of 15 years for the DUI-manslaughter charge but his attorney requested four years citing his remorse and clean record.

However, Assistant State Attorney Greg Groger fought against this and on Monday, Bruce was awarded 12 years for the DUI-manslaughter charge. He will also face additional charges for absconding and failing to appear before the court on the appointed date. Authorities say that Bruce could be facing anywhere from two to five years more for this charge.

Vosbein’s fiancée and parents have been following the trial closely and although they were happy with the sentencing, they are still devastated. In fact, fiancée Leah Selevan requested authorities to post Vosbien’s photo in Bruce’s cell so that he would be reminded of his mistake daily. But Vosbien made a mistake too! No one made him ride with his drunken friend.