JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – A Lake City man was arrested Wednesday and accused of vehicular homicide in connection with a Jacksonville Beach crash that killed a pedestrian and seriously injured another in July.
According to his arrest warrant, Joshua Lovingood of Jacksonville was driving twice the posted speed limit on 2nd Street North in Jacksonville Beach just before midnight July 11 when he hit two pedestrians walking south on 2nd Street North near 7th Avenue North.
After striking the two pedestrians, including 22-year-old South Carolina man Bryn Turner, police said Lovingood continued traveling south on 2nd Street North and hit a stop sign and a palm tree, causing the vehicle to flip. Turner, just weeks shy of his 23rd birthday, died at the scene. The other pedestrian, Julio Gomez, was seriously injured and is still recovering. Lovingood was not hurt.
Lovingood was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and consented to a blood draw at the scene, police said. The results of the test showed that Lovingood’s blood alcohol content was .228%, police said, well above the legal limit of .08%.
Lovingood also had a suspended license because of a past DUI arrest.
News4Jax confirmed that Lovingood was working as a bartender at Ruby Beach Brewing in Jacksonville Beach. Investigators believe he was involved in the crash shortly after leaving work and was drinking on the job. A manager at the business did not have a comment Thursday.
Lovingood’s listed address in Lake City has a ‘No Trespassing’ sign posted outside, so News4Jax could not ask anyone at the home for comment.
The State Attorney’s Office issued an arrest warrant and Lovingood was arrested Wednesday in Ohio. When he is extradited back to Florida, he will also face charges of driving under the influence manslaughter, driving under the influence with damage, driving under the influence with injury and driving while license suspended or revoked.
"Our investigators were in constant contact with the driver," said Jacksonville Beach Police Sgt. Larry Smith. "And he was cooperating throughout the entire case."
Smith said the arrest took nearly three months because investigators wanted to build evidence and did not want anything to jeopardize the case.
Gomez, who is out of the hospital, said he was relieved to hear of an arrest and still devastated over the loss of his best friend. He said he did not want to comment further due to the ongoing nature of the case, however, Gomez's lawyer issued a statement:
We (Woolsey Morcom and The Fusco Law Group) represent Julio Gomez with respect to his injuries resulting from the tragic motor vehicle incident that occurred on July 11, 2019. This is a terrible incident that will have a permanent impact on Mr. Gomez, as well as Mr. Turner’s survivors. We all extend our best wishes to Mr. Turner’s family. We were pleased to see local law enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office made the decision to make an arrest in this matter and appreciate their hard work.
We have been investigating the accident and the activities that led to the impaired driver getting behind the wheel of the vehicle in his condition and intend to pursue all civil claims available to Mr. Gomez, including claims against the driver and third parties.