East Lake Crash Leaves One Woman Dead and a Man Charged with DUI Manslaughter


A crash late Thursday night left a New Port Richey woman dead and an impaired driver charged with DUI Manslaughter.

The crash occurred at about 11:29 PM on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at East Lake Road and Keystone Road.

According to a Florida Highway Patrol investigator, 65 year-old Denise Diometre of New Port Richey was traveling northbound in a 2012 Hyundai Elantra on East Lake Road in the inside lane approaching the intersection of Keystone Road.

Troopers indicated that a 2008 Ford Explorer collided with the rear of the Elantra.  The driver of the Explorer,  29 year-old Dustin Lee Rhoades of Clearwater, was directly behind Diometre and attempted to overtake her vehicle when the collision occurred.

After the crash, both vehicles came to rest on the east shoulder of the roadway.

Diometre was transported to Trinity Hospital where she died from her injuries.

Rhoades was not injured according to FHP.  According to the report, Rhoades provided a breath sample for alcohol which showed a level of 0.16.  A level of 0.08 is the threshold legal limit in Florida for a charge of Driving under the influence.

Trooper arrested Rhoades for DUI Manslaughter and he is being booked into the Pinellas County Jail.

According to the report, both drivers were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Two others were arrested for Driving under the Influence by Pinellas Deputies while FHP Troopers investigated the DUI Manslaughter crash.

Both of the below arrests took place at the same intersection of Keystone Road and East Lake Rd during the fatal DUI crash investigation.

At about 1:47 AM, a Pinellas Deputy observed 49 year-old Richard Rodriguez of New Port Richey making a U-turn over the grassy median instead of utilizing the designated lane of travel.  Rodriguez consented to a breath test which registered 0.154 and 0.149 and was arrested for DUI

At about 2:16 AM, a Pinellas Deputy observed a driver that was not observing his traffic control direction to move over into the left turn lane on Keystone Road.  The driver, 42 year-old Thomas Mills of Trinity rolled down his window to speak with the deputy. According to the arrest affidavit, the deputy smelled alcohol, observed glassy eyes and slurred speech.  Mills failed sobriety testing and was arrested for DUI.





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