Fort Myers man accused of driving drunk, causing fatal crash on Alligator Alley

Woman killed, 16 people hurt when truck rear-ended van

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - A Fort Myers man was arrested Wednesday, accused of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a woman and injured 16 others along the Alligator Alley section of Interstate 75 in Broward County.

Nisbany Garcias, 30, faces multiple charges, including manslaughter, driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injury to another.

Lt. Alvaro Feola, a spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol, said Garcias was driving south on I-75 about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday when his Ford F-150 truck rear-ended a Ford E-350 van, causing the van to crash into a median and flip over. Several passengers were thrown from the vehicle, Feola said.

Garcias failed a field sobriety test hours after the crash and his blood alcohol level was well above the legal limit, according to the arrest report.

Authorities had been looking for Garcias before the crash because other drivers had reported he was driving erratically, the report said.

A group from Minnesota -- traveling from Fort Myers to Fort Lauderdale after attending a spring training baseball game -- was inside the van. 

Lauren Vanreese, 21, of Andover, Minnesota, was pronounced dead at the scene. Twelve people were transported to Broward Health Medical Center with serious injuries. Another four were treated at the scene.

One of the victims, Rachel Kerr, 45, was pinned under the van after the crash and passers-by used a jack to free her.

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