ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A 20-year-old man is facing multiple counts involving driving while under the influence Sunday after he struck two bicyclists in the Nocatee area near Palm Valley Road and Davis Park Road, according to the St. John County Sheriff's Office.
Investigations revealed that Caleb Richter was driving eastbound on Palm Valley Road after making despondent statements to those close to him, the sheriff's office said.
Witnesses told deputies that Richter was driving over the posted speed limit in a reckless manner. He lost control of his vehicle, sideswiping another vehicle before hitting a third vehicle. Hitting that third vehicle sent his car towards a group of cyclists, eventually striking two of the bicyclists, deputies said. His vehicle then came to a rest in front of the Gate Gas Station located at 2545 Palm Valley Road.
When a deputy came to talk to Richter about the crash, he was said to be showing multiple signs of impairment. The deputy also smelled a "strong and distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage" upon making contact with Richter and he had "bloodshot, watery [and] glassy eyes."
The deputy asked Richter what happened, he said "I was driving as fast as I could to the bridge [REDACTED] when I went around a vehicle and hit the bicyclist." The deputy then asked Richter if he was drinking, and he said "last night I was."
While speaking with Richter, the deputy notices his speech was slurred and he was mumbling. The deputy also said the smell of an "alcoholic beverage" got stronger the more he spoke.
Richter was asked to perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests which he performed poorly on, showing multiple signs of impairment. He was placed under arrest and asked to perform a breath sample, where it was determined that his BrAC was .168/.168.
Richter was charged with one count of DUI and four counts of DUI and Damage. He is being held on a $3,000 bond.
An investigation into the crash is still ongoing and Richter was determined to be at fault for the crash. The bicyclists are said to be in stable condition as they continue to receive treatment for their injures in the hospital, according to the sheriff's office.