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DUI manslaughter charges filed against man arrested in head-on crash

Shawn Blitchington charged in July crash that killed Nassau County couple

Shawn Blitchington
Shawn Blitchington

The state attorney’s office has filed three counts of DUI manslaughter against a Jacksonville man arrested in a July head-on crash that killed three people in Nassau County.

Shawn Blitchington's arrest warrant does not say what the blood alcohol level was.

Blitchington, 45, was driving a Ford F-250 that crossed the lanes of U.S. 301 in Bryceville about 11 p.m. July 21 and struck a Honda Civic headed the opposite way, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers said three people inside the Civic -- Bailey McKnight, 22, Ryan Kennedy, 21, and the couple's child with whom McKnight was eight months pregnant -- died at the scene.

Blitchington, who did not have a valid license, ditched the pickup and ran from the scene, despite efforts of a witness to keep him there, troopers said. Deputies captured him nearby several hours later.

Charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving a death, Blitchington was taken to UF Health Jacksonville for treatment of a collapsed lung. Once released, he was booked into jail in Nassau County, where he remained as of Friday on $1,810,000 bond, according to online jail records.

Online court records show Blitchington has a lengthy criminal history, including four DUI convictions. 

His next court date is Sept 13.