A California man was arrested after he reportedly drove away from the scene of a two-vehicle wreck and crashed his car into a sign several blocks away.
Sean Marcus Tavarez, 46, of San Jose, was charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. He was behind the wheel of a white Chevrolet Malibu that collided with a white GMC shortly before midnight Wednesday at the intersection of SW 66th Street and State Road 200.
The driver of the GMC and a witness told an Ocala Police officer they followed Tavarez’s vehicle until it crashed into the corner wall of the Heath Brook sign on the southeast side of the intersection of SW 48th Avenue and S.R. 200. They said Tavarez got out of his vehicle and walked southwest away from the scene, according to the OPD report.
Tavarez was located by other officers near the Homewood Suites at Heath Brook, 4610 SW 49th Road. The officers reported that he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. The driver of the GMC and the witness separately confirmed Tavarez was the driver of the Malibu, and he was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center due to injuries, the report said.
At the hospital, Tavarez told the officer he couldn’t remember much of the incident but said he had gone to dinner and was returning to his hotel. He said the Malibu was a rental car, and that he lost control of the vehicle but didn’t remember crashing into the other vehicle or the wall, according to the report.
Tavarez said he was the only person in the vehicle and claimed he had four alcoholic drinks, including two “Jack and Cokes.” The officer could smell alcohol on Tavarez’s breath and observed his eyes were bloodshot and glassy. Tavarez also had a hard time completing sentences, the report said.
The medical staff had requested a blood test and the officer was advised by a nurse that Tavarez’s blood-alcohol level was above 0.08 percent. Due to Tavarez’s head injury, the officer couldn’t conduct a field sobriety test, according to the report.
Tavarez was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he was released Thursday on $2,000 bond.