Man charged with DUI manslaughter in North Port crash

Zachary Richards
Zachary Richards(SCSO)
Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 8:47 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A North Port man was charged with DUI manslaughter after a Tuesday night crash in which a motorcyclist was killed, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Police say Zachary Richards, 33, driving a Ford transit van, was traveling south on U.S. Highway 41 at a high rate of speed with no headlights on, in the inside lane approaching Palm Harbor Drive.

At the same time, a motorcycle driven by a 67-year-old North Port man with a 62-year old female passenger, was traveling north on U.S. 41, in the westbound turn lane approaching the intersection. The motorcyclist attempted to turn south onto Palm Harbor Drive and entered the path of Richards’ van, where they collided. This collision knocked the driver off the motorcycle before a third vehicle, an SUV travelling north of U.S 41, also hit the motorcycle.

The driver of the motorcycle died at the scene, police say. His passenger was taken to a hospital in critical condition. The SUV driver was not injured.

Richards was treated for minor injuries arrested on scene for DUI manslaughter, DUI serious bodily injury and DUI property damage and booked into the Sarasota County Jail.

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