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Rebecca Lawless, 26, Faces DUI Manslaughter Charge in Death of Diane Upton on SR100 Last Year

| October 23, 2015

rebecca lawless dui manslaughter

Rebecca Lawless at the scene of the Oct. 18, 2014 crash, next to the Toyota Camry she drove into Diane Upton’s car. (c FlaglerLive)

Almost a year to the day when Rebecca Lawless ran a red light and slammed into Diane Upton’s car near Town Center, killing Upton and injuring Upton’s daughter and granddaughter, Lawless was arrested on a DUI manslaughter charge and three charges of DUI with serious bodily hard.

A resident of 43 Filbert Lane in Palm Coast and a teller at Wells Fargo bank, Lawless turned herself into the Flagler County jail Thursday evening on a warrant County Judge Melissa Moore-Stens signed on Oct. 19–one year and a day after the fatal wreck. Lawless was then released after posting bail on $53,000 bond.

The evening of Oct. 18, 2014, Lawless was driving a Toyota Camry. Upton and her family were in a Chrysler PT Cruiser. Upton was driving out of the Town Center shopping Center and was making a left onto SR100. Lawless, according to Florida Highway Patrol investigators at the scene at the time, ran a red light as she traveled west on SR100 and t-boned the Cruiser.

A passenger in Lawless’s car, Kimberly Burgos, was also injured. Lawless alone was not injured in the wreck. She stood by at the scene, leaning against a Flagler County Sheriff’s vehicle, for long stretches as investigators did their work.

Lawless’s arrest report indicates that the evening of the fatal crash, she had initially been a passenger in the Toyota until the car stopped at the Kangaroo Express at 6125 State Road 100 in Flagler Beach. There, Lawless decided to drive.

“During the course of the investigation,” the charging affidavit filed by the FHP investigator states, Lawless’s behavior “was described as looking impaired, cursing and having mood swings.” When the investigator approached Lawless as she sat in the back of a sheriff’s cruiser (she was not under arrest at that point), the investigator “was met with a loud and rude rejection,” the report states.

Lawless smelled of alcohol, her eyes were bloodshot and watery, her speech was slurred, the report states, and she would swing from “very angry to quiet.”

Blood was drawn. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s toxicology report noted a blood-alcohol level of 0.1 blood-alcohol level (the legal limit in Florida is 0.08).

In Florida, DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony with a maximum prison term of 15 years and a minimum sentence of four years.

She’s had four traffic infractions previously in Flagler County, including a conviction for careless driving in 2007.

rebecca lawless

The Camry and the Cruiser at the scene of the wreck. (c FlaglerLive)

Rebecca Lawless.

Rebecca Lawless.

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7 Responses for “Rebecca Lawless, 26, Faces DUI Manslaughter Charge in Death of Diane Upton on SR100 Last Year”

  1. proud yankee says:

    15 years, max? Well good thing the state of florida takes drunk driving so seriously.

  2. Nancy N. says:

    It’s not technically true that DUI Manslaughter has a maximum in Florida of 15 years. Judges can exceed that 15 if they want and the scorecard calls for it. I know of a person who is doing 17 years for it.

  3. law enforcement says:

    She killed someone…she should never get out

  4. Mr.Momdex says:

    One more drunk off the road temporarily,,,,,I like my 5:00pm beer ,,,but those driving days after downing a few were over about 25-30 years ago ,,back when a cop told you to go straight home or parked your car and gave you a lift in the back seat of the cruiser ,,,killing people while drunk behind the wheel deserves throwing the key away these days ,,,,welcome to your new home ,,,stainless steel sink and dunny,,,,,,,,and a cot if your lucky ! Oh by the way ‘ leave your make-up at home ,,you won’t be going out any Saturday nights for a while .

  5. theevoice says:

    the sheriff that let her go should be arrested too..flagler sheriffs are awful on trafic arrests, just awful..i hope the deceased womans family sues the sheriff and the county..RIP..

  6. theevoice says:

    by the way..she should sue the sheriff and the county too, as she should have been arrested and detained..who hired this moron group of sheriffs???!!!!

  7. GT says:

    Fired he needs to share a cell with her

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