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Ocala
Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Woman charged with DUI manslaughter in Ocala crash that killed father

Fatal car accident on Wednesday evening
A fatal car accident in Ocala on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, claimed the life of Ethan Reeves. (Photo: Ocala Police Department)

A woman who allegedly registered over twice the legal blood alcohol limit after causing a fatal accident on Wednesday night has been arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter in connection with the crash, which claimed the life of a father and left another individual critically injured. 

The accident occurred at around 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, at the intersection of N Pine Avenue and NW 20th Street, according to the Ocala Police Department.

OPD stated in a media release that two cars – a Honda Civic and Toyota Scion – were traveling northbound on Pine Avenue, near the NW 20th Street intersection. The Honda was in the outside lane while the Toyota was in the inside lane.

At the same time, a woman identified as 44-year-old Tiara Kirkland was heading southbound in the left turn lane of Pine Avenue, near the same intersection, in a Chevrolet Spark.

Tiara Kirkland
Tiara Kirkland (Marion County Jail booking photo)

As Kirkland approached the intersection and attempted to make a left turn onto NW 20th Street, her car crossed into the direct paths of the Honda and Toyota. OPD stated that the Honda managed to avoid the Chevrolet, but the Toyota was struck by it.

After the initial impact, the Toyota rotated and hit the raised median on NW 20th Street, which caused the vehicle to overturn multiple times. The Toyota then crashed into several cars that were parked in a nearby lot.

A passenger in the Toyota, identified as Ethan Reeves, was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Ethan Reeves
Ethan Reeves was killed in a fatal accident on Wednesday evening. (Photo: Facebook)

The driver of the Toyota was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Kirkland and the driver of the Honda were not injured, and they refused medical attention.

According to OPD, an officer made contact with Kirkland and “smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage” on her breath. The arrest report stated that her eyes were bloodshot, and her speech was slurred.

After being read her Miranda rights, Kirkland claimed that when she was turning left at the intersection, she “never saw anyone” traveling northbound on Pine Avenue. When asked if she had consumed any alcoholic beverages, she advised that she had “one drink,” according to the police department.

OPD stated that Kirkland agreed to perform multiple field sobriety tests, which she failed. She also provided breath samples that registered blood alcohol content levels of .191 and .186, which is more than twice the legal limit.

Kirkland was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail, where she is currently being held on a $30,000 bond. She is being charged with DUI manslaughter.

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.

In a media release on Thursday, OPD stated that the speed of the Toyota and Honda “may have been a factor” in the fatal crash. No further details were provided by police as the investigation is ongoing.