Woman was driving 107 mph seconds before fatal DUI crash, Miami-Dade police say

Keunta Watts, 24, charged in 2022 West Little River crash

Keunta Lajeanna Watts (MDCR)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Police arrested a 24-year-old northwest Miami-Dade woman on vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter charges Thursday in connection to a deadly 2022 crash.

Police said Keunta Watts, then 22, was driving at speeds of more than 100 mph just seconds before she ran a red light and hit Alexander Zavala Zambrano, 30, at around 11:15 p.m. on June 23, 2022.

He would later die at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.

According to an arrest warrant, Watts was driving a 2013 Chevrolet Impala down Northwest 103rd Street at speeds of 107 mph four seconds before she slammed into Zavala Zambrano’s Honda Fit at the intersection with 32nd Avenue, in Miami-Dade County’s West Little River area.

The speed limit on that stretch of 103rd Street is 35 mph.

Crash data showed Watts was only able to slow down to 87 mph at the time of impact, police said. The force of the crash ejected Zavala Zambrano from his vehicle.

The warrant states a witness stopped Watts as she tried to run away after the crash.

Police said Watts had red, bloodshot watery eyes, slurred speech and a “strong odor” of alcohol on her breath.

Watts’ brother told investigators that she had picked him up from the Planet Fitness at 502 W. 49th St. in Hialeah, about 2 1/2 miles west of the crash scene, earlier that night and suspected she was drunk but was “not sure,” the warrant states.

He told police that his sister was driving in a “chaotic” and “reckless” fashion before the crash.

Toxicology tests taken five hours after the crash later registered Watts’ blood alcohol content as high as .07%, slightly under the legal limit, the warrant states. However, police noted that a significant amount of time had elapsed, meaning her BAC at the time of the crash was almost certainly above the legal limit.

They said the results disproved a claim Watts made that she had only had one drink that night.

Miami-Dade police Detective Juan Bobadilla concluded that Watts’ “decision to drive at such an excessive rate of speed showed a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of her own passenger as well as for others that were on the roadway at the time of the collision.”

Watts remained in the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on a $20,000 bond as of early Friday afternoon.

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.