Riviera Beach firefighter Bradley Gardner had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit early May 7 when he ran a red light and crashed his pickup into Natalie Galvis’ car, killing the 23-year-old mother, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office records show.
Gardner, 27, of Wellington turned himself into the sheriff’s office Wednesday evening, said his private attorney, Michael Salnick. He faces charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, driving while under the influence and causing property damage and reckless driving.
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Gardner and Salnick appeared Thursday morning before Circuit Judge Dina Keever-Agrama at the county jail. Keever-Agrama ordered that Gardner be held in lieu of $21,000 bail. He was released from custody at about 12:30 p.m.
He cannot have contact either with the Galvis family or any witnesses. He must undergo random testing for drugs and alcohol.
Salnick said Gardner will plead not guilty to the charges.
Gardner, a state-certified firefighter since August 2014, was hired by Riviera Beach Fire Rescue in January. He was not on duty at the time of the wreck, city authorities said. His last shift before the early Monday crash was the prior Friday, records show.
Gardner, who sustained minor injuries in the crash, resigned his position with Riviera Beach Fire Rescue on Thursday. He was a probationary employee, a city spokeswoman said.
Salnick told Keever-Agrama that Gardner is a Seminole Ridge High School graduate who served four years in the Navy. He has a young son, Salnick said, and “plans to go back to work.”
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Records indicate that Gardner’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot after the wreck, and tests measured his blood-alcohol level at .162, more than twice the .08 legal threshold for impairment, records show.
Gardner told investigators he had one beer before he got behind the wheel of the pickup and headed south on Military Trail. Records do not indicate when he reportedly drank the beer.
Surveillance video shows Gardner’s 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 enter the intersection of Belvedere Road and Military Trail when he had a solid red light. Investigators determined he was going about 80 mph when he crashed into Galvis’ Ford Focus, which was traveling at about 45 mph.
Gardner’s truck slammed into the passenger side of Galvis’ car, which was heading west on Belvedere, according to sheriff’s records. The car spun, hit a pole at a crosswalk and stopped in the bushes outside a BP gas station on the intersection’s southwest corner.
Both Gardner and Galvis were heading home when they crashed, records state.
Galvis was about a block from the Haverhill home she shared with Richard Canfield III, with whom she had a 2-year-old daughter.
“She is the most amazing person I’ve ever met,” Canfield said in May. “She had a big heart and was respectful to everyone.”