PORT CHARLOTTE — Troopers charged a Punta Gorda man with a DUI after a fatal crash Friday in which a pedestrian and his dog were killed crossing U.S. 41 in Port Charlotte.
Adam Bartholomew Sherkus, 47, a former Punta Gorda firefighter, was driving a van south in the center lane of U.S. 41 at Gardner Drive around 10 p.m., according to court records.
The pedestrian was trying to cross in a portion of the roadway without a marked crosswalk, FHP stated. Sherkus’ girlfriend, who was following in the left lane, said the pedestrian “jolted from the median into oncoming traffic.”
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper took over the investigation from Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputies who reported Sherkus appeared to be intoxicated.
Sherkus recalled most of the events leading up to the crash, but stated the passenger airbags had deployed. They were actually fully intact, records show.
He allegedly had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath, glossy, bloodshot eyes and a slightly slurred speech.
Sherkus reportedly claimed he did not have any alcoholic beverages but performed poorly in field sobriety tests.
He was placed under arrest for a DUI and transported to the Charlotte County Jail, where he refused a breathalyzer test. He was released Saturday after posting a $5,000 bond.
The name of the pedestrian has not been released, due to FHP’s new limits on information.
Sherkus has two prior DUI convictions and one reckless driving where alcohol or drugs was a factor. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Sherkus was a firefighter for the city of Punta Gorda from 2003 to 2011.