Woman killed in Leyritz crash had exceeded blood-alcohol limit

Updated: February 2, 2008, 5:16 AM ET
Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The woman who was killed when former World Series star Jim Leyritz crashed his SUV into her car had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.

According to a toxicology report released Friday, 30-year-old Fredia Ann Veitch had a blood-alcohol level of 0.18. Florida's legal limit is 0.08. Leyritz's blood-alcohol content three hours after the crash was 0.14 percent.

Jim Leyritz

Leyritz

Leyritz, 44, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a recently added charge of DUI manslaughter by unlawful blood-alcohol levels. He previously pleaded not guilty to a charge of DUI manslaughter with impairment in Veitch's death. Leyritz faces 15 years in prison if convicted.

"It doesn't affect the cause of the crash because he ran a red light," Assistant State Attorney Stefanie Newman said.

Leyritz's attorney, Mike Dutko, said the information could change the way the prosecution proceeds.

"Pre-crash conditions and circumstances become terribly, terribly relevant," Dutko said. "There's a lot that needs to be investigated, analyzed and evaluated here."

Police said Leyritz drove his sport utility vehicle through a red light Dec. 28 in Fort Lauderdale and crashed into Veitch's car.

Leyritz was ordered Thursday to take daily breath tests while he awaits trial on DUI manslaughter charges.

He played for six major league teams and was last in the majors in 2000, ending his 11-year career. In 1996, he homered for the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the World Series against Atlanta. The homer made it 6-6, and the Yankees won in 10 innings. New York took the series in six games for its first title in 18 years.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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