On Thursday, September 6, 2012, Polk County Sheriff's Traffic Homicide deputies issued an arrest warrant for 34-year-old Gino Tutera of 4705 Josselin Place in Parrish, charging him with two counts Vehicular Homicide (F-2) in a traffic fatality that resulted in the deaths of two people in Frostproof on March 21, 2012.
According to the affidavit, around 3:37 p.m. that day, Tutera was heading eastbound on U.S. 98 east of Avon Park Cut-off Road when he crossed over the double yellow line and entered into the westbound lanes, colliding with a Ford Focus occupied by 73-year-old Bobbie Herring (male) and 60-year-old Karen Holmes (female). The collision resulted in the two victims' deaths, and serious injury to Tutera.
The investigation revealed that Tutera was exceeding the speed limit by 20 MPH when he struck the victims -- he was traveling 80 MPH in a 60 MPH zone. This was a violation of Florida State Statute (FSS) 316.187 "Unlawful Speed." His illegal crossing over into the westbound lane was a violation of FSS 316.087. Tutera also sent or received 51 text messages and received two phone calls from the time he left his house at 2:25 p.m. until the time of the crash. This was a violation of FSS 316.192 "Reckless Driving."
As a result of Tutera's actions and aforementioned violations, which resulted in the untimely death of both victims, he was also found in violation of FSS 782.071 "Vehicular Homicide," which states in part, "the killing of a human being caused by the operation of a motor vehicle by another in a reckless manner likely to cause the death of another."
Tutera was located in Manatee County early this morning (Friday, September 7, 2012) and was booked into the Manatee County Jail, where he has subsequently bonded out.