Former Palmetto man charged with DUI manslaughter

rdymond@bradenton.comSeptember 24, 2013 

Kidwell

MANATEE -- A year and a half after a traffic accident in Palmetto claimed the life of a 73-year-old woman passenger, the man driving the car she was in has been charged with DUI manslaughter.

Michael Steven Kidwell, 63, formerly of Palmetto, now lists his address as the 300 block of White Pine Boulevard in New Albany, Ind. He was arrested Wednesday and placed in the Manatee County jail, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office website.

The State Attorney's Office decided to prosecute Kidwell after determining he was under the influence at the time of the crash that killed Suzette McMahon of Radcliff, Ky., Assistant State Attorney Courtney Hollen confirmed in an e-mail Monday.

A day after his arrest, Kidwell posted $7,500 bond and was released.

The accident occurred at 10:57 p.m. March 27, 2012, at the entrance to Country Lakes Village II in Palmetto where Kidwell lived, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

Kidwell allegedly failed to yield the right-of-way while driving a black 2009 Hyundai Sonata four-door northbound in the left-turn lane.

A 2011 Ford Escape, allegedly driven over the posted speed limit by a 29-year-old Haines City man, was southbound on U.S. 41 north at the same time, according to the report.

Troopers allege Kidwell tried to turn left into a driveway at his residence at 6201 U.S. 41 and pulled in front of the Ford. No skid marks were found at the scene, according to the report.

The Ford was carrying a passenger who was unhurt.

Two witnesses helped the Florida Highway Patrol with its report.

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072.

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