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Palm Coast Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 4 years ago

Woman charged with DUI manslaughter in 2014 crash that killed Palm Coast resident Diane Upton

Rebecca Michelle Lawless, 26, ran a red light and struck Upton's car, according to FHP reports.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Deputies have arrested a 26-year-old Palm Coast woman in connection with an Oct. 18, 2014 crash that killed 58-year-old Palm Coast resident Diane Upton and injured two others.

Rebecca Michelle Lawless turned herself in at the county jail at about 7:59 p.m. Oct. 22 after County Judge Melissa Moore Stens signed a warrant Oct. 19, a year and a day after the crash, for Lawless' arrest on a DUI manslaughter charge and three counts of DUI with serious bodily harm.

Lawless, driving a 2002 Toyota, blew through a red light heading west on State Road 100 at the intersection of Landing Boulevard at 9:40 p.m. Oct. 18, 2014, and struck Upton's southbound 2005 Chrysler, killing Upton, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

The crash left Upton's two passengers, 24-year-old Kalyn Upton and 5-year-old Vivian Upton, in serious condition. Lawless was not injured in the crash.

Bond for the charges was set at a combined $53,000 — $50,000 for the DUI manslaughter charge, and $1,000 each for the three DUI with serious bodily harm counts — and Lawless, an F-Section resident, had been released from jail by the morning of Oct. 23.

By the date of the crash, Lawless had already received civil penalties in three other traffic cases in Flagler County: a 2007 careless driving case, a 2008 seatbelt law violation case and a 2014 citation for leaving an unattended car running without the wheels turned to the curb, according to county court records. 

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