Andover woman killed, 14 other Minnesotans injured in Florida highway crash

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Photo credit: Fox 35 WOFL

An Andover, Minnesota woman was killed and 14 other Minnesotans were injured when a suspected drunk driver on a Florida highway struck their van Tuesday evening. The group was driving from Fort Myers to Fort Lauderdale after attending a Twins spring training game, according to local media reports. 

The crash happened just after 5:30 p.m. E.S.T on a section of Interstate 75 known as Alligator Alley. Witnesses observed a Ford F-150 driving recklessly down the interstate, nearly causing several crashes, according to the state highway patrol. The pickup switched lanes and collided with a passenger van carrying the 15 Minnesotans, causing both vehicles to veer off the road and into the grassy median. The van rolled several times before coming to a stop. 

Lauren VanReese, 18, was killed in the crash. Fourteen other people in the van, including one four-year-old girl, were seriously injured. 

One of the victims, Paul White, 49, of Ham Lake, won a third of the $448.4 million Powerball jackpot in 2013, the Star Tribune reported

Florida authorities identified the driver of the pickup truck as Nisbany Garcias, 30, of Fort Myers, Florida. He suffered minor injuries in the crash. 

According to the police report, Garcias had a blood alcohol content of 0.182 more than four hours after the crash. He was arrested and is facing charges of DUI manslaughter, DUI property damage, DUI with serious bodily injury and DUI injury.