SARASOTA — A North Port woman is facing two DUI-manslaughter charges after the SUV she was driving crossed the center lane of a two-lane road and struck a motorcycle near Sarasota, killing two people on the bike.
Cayla Lynne Marie McKenzie, 29, of the 2200 block of Penguin Lane, North Port, showed signs of impairment at the scene of the crash, according to a report released Monday from Florida Highway Patrol.
The crash happened at 5:31 p.m. Saturday on the two-lane State Road 72, east of Interstate 75. McKenzie was leaving the Canoe Outpost near Arcadia in a Chevy Tahoe and headed to North Port when the crash happened, the report shows.
A friend, who was called to the crash scene to take home a passenger in McKenzie’s car, told troopers a “route that she should’ve taken to her intended destination” from the Canoe Outpost would have been down Kings Highway toward Port Charlotte, rather than S.R. 72 toward Sarasota, the report states.
McKenzie was driving west near Sidell Road. Witnesses told troopers she crossed the center line and struck a Harley-Davidson that was headed east. The Harley driver tried to slow down and swerve to avoid the crash, however, the SUV did not and struck the motorcycle head on, witnesses told troopers.
The motorcycle driver, a 58-year-old man from Sarasota, and the passenger, a 54-year-old woman, also from Sarasota, were pronounced dead on the scene by Sarasota County EMS.
FHP no longer releases the names of victims involved in a crash. However, the West Coast Florida Riders motorcycle group held a memorial at the crash site Sunday and erected a cross there in remembrance of Herb and Kristine Baird, two members of the group.
The highway patrol obtained a warrant for a blood sample from McKenzie, and an EMT drew a sample for evidence. Troopers took McKenzie to Sarasota Memorial Hospital where medical personnel checked her shoulder and collarbone for injuries. At the hospital, she told troopers she “felt bad for the family of the deceased and that she was going to spend the rest of her life in jail,” the report shows.
Troopers arrested McKenzie on two counts of DUI-manslaughter and two counts of DUI with property damage and booked her into the Sarasota County Jail. She was appointed a public defender and released on $31,000 bond Sunday, court records show. Her arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 7.