LEESBURG – The suspect who was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident involving a death was possibly intoxicated at the time of the incident according to police reports.
Jose Omar Azua, 33, ran from the scene of a fatal accident that claimed the life of 54-year-old Lori Dudley Saturday night. In the police report, witnesses state that Dudley was stopped at a red light in the outside lane at the traffic light in front of Rural King and the Bealls shopping center when Azua came “flying by” and struck her 2011 Harley-Davidson.
During the impact, Dudley was thrown from her motorcycle into the windshield of Azua’s 1997 Saturn wagon and landed on the pavement at the traffic light. According to Leesburg Police, there were no signs indicating that Azua attempted to stop or slow down. The Saturn continued to drag the motorcycle for approximately 338 feet after the point of impact leaving the motorcycle wedged into the front bumper of the vehicle.
According to witnesses, two men were spotted exiting the Saturn and leaving the scene of the accident.
A man who witnessed the incident take place pulled over to call 911. When Ofc. Hobbs arrived on the scene, he found Dudley laying on the ground with no pulse and began CPR until EMS arrived. Dudley was transported by ambulance to the Leesburg Regional Medical Center where she later died from the injuries she sustained.
When officers were securing the scene, one of the occupants from the Saturn returned to the vehicle. The man then started walking away from the vehicle and police. S. O. Hollowell was able to detain the man approximately 50 – 60 feet away from the vehicle.
According to the officers’ reports, the man had a distinct odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath and was “clearly intoxicated”.
The man, later identified as Azua, stated he was not driving the vehicle because he was “too drunk to drive” and that his friend was driving. When asked what his friend’s name was, he told officers he did not know. Azua declined to provide a blood sample to test for alcohol levels. Since there were no witnesses and no evidence at the time placing Azua behind the wheel, Azua was released.
Azua later turned himself in on Monday afternoon at the Leesburg Police Department. When officers interviewed Azua, he admitted that he was the driver of the vehicle.
Azua was charged with vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident involving a death. He was booked and transported to the Lake County Jail where he is currently being held on a $35,000 bond.
Azua is scheduled to appear before a judge for arraignment on September 19 at 8:30 am.