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Driver charged in April vehicle death

Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 05:19 PM

A 33-year-old Brooksville man was arrested on a DUI manslaughter charge in connection with an April 23 accident that left his passenger dead.

Mikell Paul Begley was arrested Wednesday in Pasco County and was later booked at the Hernando County Jail. He remains behind bars in lieu of $50,500 bail.

Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol said Begley was traveling east along Forest Oaks Boulevard shortly before 9 p.m.

He came upon a turn in the road and lost control of his 2004 Ford Taurus, which crossed into the west lane, veered onto the north shoulder, rotated over the sidewalk and overturned, troopers said.

The Ford struck a fire hydrant and then a real estate sign before crashing into a tree, according to a crash report.

The passenger, Gary Ziegler, 46, was pronounced dead at the scene. Begley was seriously injured and airlifted to a Pasco hospital.

Both men were wearing their seatbelts.

The crash-scene investigator stated in his report that Begley had a blood-alcohol level of .121 and .125. Under Florida law, the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle is .08.

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