ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol said the blood-alcohol level of an Orange County driver who fled from officers during a Sept. 25 traffic stop was through the roof.
Authorities said the driver, James Maddux, had a blood-alcohol level of .195. The legal limit is .08.
Maddux fled from officers when he drove across the median and over a signpost before crashing into another car that was driving in the other direction on Orange Blossom Trail.
FHP said Maddux had given the trooper a bogus identification during the traffic stop. They said the trooper suspected a possible DUI situation and asked Maddux to get out of the car, but the man drove off and crashed before the trooper could get back to his vehicle.
"He stopped the vehicle, the driver stopped right in the middle of the road," said FHP's Sgt. Kim Montes. "(The) trooper obtained his ID (and) learned that it was a fake ID card. The trooper went up to the car to initiate a DUI investigation, and that's when the driver took off in the Prius, southbound on OBT."
Investigators said Maddux ran a red light and was struck by the other car, causing his vehicle to burst into flames. The suspect was hospitalized in critical condition, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Maddux can be seen weaving through traffic, blowing through a red light and T-boning
another vehicle from the dash cam footage.
The Prius Maddux drove blew past another trooper backwards before it finally stopped.
"Yeah, it was on fire for about two minutes before the ambulance got here. It looked very severe, I'd say from 1 to 10 it's a 20," said witness Calvin Perez.
A passenger in the vehicle, Zachary Poirrier, 18, was hospitalized in serious condition, authorities said.
Investigators said the driver and the passenger of the other car were also hospitalized; one in serious condition and the other with minor injuries, FHP said.
Some of the victims had to be cut out of their cars.
Channel 9 has learned Maddux is a registered sex offender and has had a similar crash in the past.
Authorities said the scene was similar to when a dash cam caught Maddux fleeing another trooper and crashing into a retention pond, nearly killing a 15-year-old passenger.
That passenger ended up being the victim in a sex abuse case that landed Maddux on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's sex offender list.