Driver, 19, in fatal Wellington crash was over blood-alcohol limit


The 19-year-old who was behind the wheel in a fatal crash last month in Wellington was over the legal blood-alcohol limit, according to a Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office report.

Dana McWilliams of Connecticut was driving her Chevy Camaro south “at a high rate of speed” on South Shore Boulevard about 11:30 p.m., Nov. 25 when she lost control of the car, according to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office report. The vehicle barreled across the road’s landscaped median, hitting several trees before coming to rest.

RELATED: Young equestrians killed in Wellington crash: ‘It’s a sad way to start’

McWilliams and her front-seat passenger, 21-year-old Christian Kennedy of Iowa, were declared dead at the scene. Another passenger, 24-year-old Elaine O’Halloran, was critically injured.

McWilliams’ blood-alcohol concentration was .083, according to the report. Florida’s legal limit for adults over age 21 is .08. For those underage it is .02, putting McWilliams at four times the legal BAC for her age. Her cause of death is listed as “craniocervical dislocation,” a severe spinal injury, caused by “blunt impact to the head and neck” sustained in the crash.

Kennedy’s BAC was higher at nearly .13, according to a medical examiner’s report. His cause of death is listed as “blunt force injuries of head.”

WELLINGTON READERS: Sign up for The Post’s weekly newsletter for Wellington news

McWilliams and Kennedy were not wearing seat belts, the PBSO report said.

PBSO launched Operation Wild Stallion, a crackdown on DUI and underage drinking in Wellington, at the beginning of December in response to the crash. Deputies are stepping up traffic stops and have an increased presence on Wellington’s main roads, including Greenview Shores and South Shore boulevards.

Wellington officials also kicked off a community effort last week, hosting a roundtable at Village Hall that included members of the equestrian community, representatives of restaurants in Wellington that serve alcohol, village staff and council members and PBSO.

RELATED: Will fatal crash spur changes in Wellington’s equestrian community?

Following the crash, the equestrian community rallied to draw attention to the issues of drinking and driving and underage drinking. In the past month, prominent equestrians have spoken out about the dangers and called for increased awareness and education.

There also has been a push to expand a free-ride-home program now offered at The Grille, a restaurant that is a popular spot for members of the equestrian community.

RELATED: Operation Wild Stallion targets DUIs, underage drinking in Wellington

READ MORE: Officials, business owners talk solutions to DUI, underage drinking in Wellington

The Get Home Safe service launched in 2016 in response to the alcohol-related fatal crash that killed two other rising equestrians, 31-year-old Andres Rodriguez and 30-year-old Sophie Walker.

Since Dec. 2, Get Home Safe has added an additional night and added a “celebrity bouncer” feature. The bouncers look for people about to leave the bar and offer rides home, while also offering to drive the person’s car for them.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Nouman Raja files ‘Stand Your Ground’ claim in Corey Jones shooting
Nouman Raja files ‘Stand Your Ground’ claim in Corey Jones shooting

Calling it “a classic case of self-defense,” lawyers for former Palm Beach Gardens Officer Nouman Raja are asking a judge to dismiss manslaughter and attempted murder charges against him for the October 2015 shooting death of 31-year-old stranded motorist Corey Jones. Raja’s lawyers in court documents filed Thursday are asking...
State senate revamps sex harassment rules

The Florida Senate released a revamped sexual harassment policy Thursday, after sex scandals rocked the chamber and led to the resignations of two prominent senators. Former Sen. Jack Latvala announced his resignation this past month following the release of an investigative report that recommended a criminal probe into allegations the Clearwater Republican...
Sportcaster, former NFL player Ahmad Rashad selling Gardens home
Sportcaster, former NFL player Ahmad Rashad selling Gardens home

Former Minnesota Viking and NBC sportscaster Ahmad Rashad has put his Palm Beach Gardens home on the market, realtor.com reports. Rashad is listing his 3-bedroom, 4 1/2-bathroom house in Frenchman’s Creek Beach & Country Club for $740,000. The home has a two-car garage and a pool that’s surrounded by thick landscaping for privacy, but the...
NEW: 1 dead, five injured in crash near Palm Springs, road closed
NEW: 1 dead, five injured in crash near Palm Springs, road closed

One person is dead and five are in the hospital after a crash near Palm Springs Thursday evening, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Crews were called to a multiple-vehicle crash near Melaleuca Lane and Congress Avenue at 5 p.m. Several people were trapped inside a vehicle that was on fire, according to Capt. Albert Borroto, the spokesperson...
Mark your calendar for these 2018 meteor showers
Mark your calendar for these 2018 meteor showers

There are plenty of meteor showers to enjoy this year, reports Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Mark your calendars and keep checking in for the latest forecast. The Lyrid Meteor shower will peak over the weekend but the sky might not be ideal. RELATED: Download our free WHIO weather APP to stay informed  Lyrids: Active April...
More Stories