68ºF

Family of woman killed in wrong-way crash files wrongful death lawsuit

Octavie Morand, 91, dies after December crash on I-95

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A Jacksonville attorney has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family a St. Augustine woman who died in wrong-way crash on Interstate 95.

In December, troopers said, Jennifer Levin was driving an Audi Q5 north in the southbound lanes of I-95 -- near County Road 210 -- when she collided head-on with a Toyota Avalon driven by 91-year-old Octavie Morand.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol's report, Levin was driving under the influence. 

While Levin's case is pending, her charges include DUI manslaughter, because Morand died a day after the crash.

Fred Tromberg, the attorney representing Morand's husband and son, said they filed a civil suit to send a message. 

"This is really an important moment for this family in terms of completeness, in closure, in seeking justice," Tromberg said. "Not only that but she had previously been charged with driving the wrong way on Hendricks Avenue, so we have somebody who was driving in our backyard and San Marco driving on Interstate 95 the wrong way, in 5,000 pounds of steel and glass."

Tromberg said Morand's family members still cry talking about their loss and they want Levin's situation to provide a warning to others.

"This is the kind of case where we want to make an example out of this young woman so that other people can see that these tragic events can be avoided by simply not drinking and driving, not using drugs and driving," Tromberg said.

News4Jax went to Levin's home Friday night. No one answered, and it appeared that no one had been at the home in some time.

The crash investigation reported Levin failing her field sobriety test. The Highway Patrol said her blood alcohol level was .153, almost twice the legal limit. Troopers also reported drugs in her system.

Levin is out of jail on bond and has a pretrial appearance scheduled in May in St. Johns County.


About the Author: