Upgraded charges likely in Pinellas Park fatal DUI crash

Comments Off on Upgraded charges likely in Pinellas Park fatal DUI crash

A local music teacher who was critically injured after her vehicle was struck by a suspected drunk driver on Sunday morning has died, deputies said Monday.

  • 1 killed, 1 hurt in crash early Sunday in Pinellas Park
  • Bryce McCloud has been charged with DUI but charges expected to be upgraded
  • Caroline Sine died at local hospital

Caroline Sine, 34, of St. Petersburg, died at Bayfront Medical Center as a result of her injuries suffered in the crash, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Sine was a local music teacher. 

Bryce McCloud was driving a 2016 Toyota Corolla when he ran a red light and struck a 2003 Toyota Camry being driven by Sine. Her boyfriend, Sean Hankins, 34, was also injured in the crash, suffering a seriously injured hand and a broken back. He remains in critical condition, deputies said.

He’s a music teacher, as well.

The crash happened just before 1 a.m. Sunday along the 4000 block of Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park.

McCloud was arrested on DUI charges. 

Sine split her time between five Pinellas County Schools, including at John Sexton Elementary School in St. Petersburg. 

"She has such a passion for music and for her children," said Suzette Burns, principal at Sexton Elementary School. "When I would go into her classroom, she always had great things going on in there, and you would just feel her energy and her love for what she was doing."

Staff members at Miles Elementary in Hillsborough County, one of the schools where Hankins works as a music teacher, are also praying for his recovery.

"It was scary because you care about all your staff and it’s a hard situation,” said Greg Cannella, principal at Mills Elementary School. "Sean is a great guy, and to know he’s going through this is hard and the staff is really concerned about him."

Deputies said McCloud showed signs of impairment, and a DUI investigation was conducted. McCloud was arrested on two counts of DUI with serious bodily injury but those charges likely will be upgraded. McCloud likely will have another court appearance and may see his bond raised.

Victims’ advocates from Mother’s Against Drunk Driving were in the courtroom during McCloud’s first court appearance Monday to plead for a high bond.

"As a habitual offender, I have an issue with his integrity and the fact that he’s mocked the justice system for years now,” said Ginger Brengle, a MADD representative.

Brengle was referring to McCloud’s arrest record, which dates back years. He has been arrested for several traffic-related offenses, including driving with a suspended license, reckless driving and another DUI in 2006. A MADD advocate read a statement from Hankins’ aunt.  

"Clearly McCloud is not only an alcoholic but alcohol for him is an obsession and a fetish," Brengle said. "I do not believe he will stay sober while awaiting trial. I believe he will get behind the wheel drunk again because that is his undeniable pattern."

McCloud’s attorney urged people not to rush to judgment while leaving court.

"It’s very unfortunate that this had to happen. I know Mr. McCloud personally, and I know he’s very remorseful, very sorry to hear about what happened," his attorney, Jim Jenkins, said.

McCloud also faces a charge of DUI manslaughter relating to Sine’s death.

If McCloud makes bond, he will have to wear a GPS monitor and use another monitor that alerts the court if he’s trying to drink and drive.

Bay News 9 – news

August 16, 2016 |

Comments are closed.

Vantage Theme – Powered by WordPress.
Skip to toolbar