Crime

Troopers arrest driver nearly a year after a wrong-way crash killed a 98-year-old woman

Just shy of one year later, Florida Highway Patrol troopers arrested a Sarasota woman they say drove the wrong way on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, causing a crash that killed an elderly woman.

On Friday, 50-year-old Tara Berbit was arrested for vehicular homicide and suspended driver’s license involving a death, both of which are felonies. Berbit was also given a civil citation for driving her vehicle, a 2014 Ford Escape, on the wrong side of the road, according to FHP.

Thelma Moore, 98, of Lakewood Ranch died after the March 19, 2018, crash. She was the passenger in a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe, driven by a 68-year-old Lakewood Ranch man.

The Santa Fe was in the left southbound lane of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard near Endeavor Drive around 11:30 a.m. when it was struck head-on by Berbit’s Escape, which was going north in the southbound lane toward oncoming traffic, troopers said.

The driver of the Santa Fe suffered minor injuries, according to FHP.

Berbit suffered serious injuries in the crash and was taken to a hospital at the time, according to FHP.

On Friday, Berbit was arrested and taken to the Sarasota County North jail.

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Sara Nealeigh covers what’s happening in the cities of Bradenton and Palmetto, Florida for the Bradenton Herald. She previously covered breaking news for the Herald after moving to Florida from Ohio in 2016.
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