wjxt logo

Woman convicted of driving drunk, high in crash that killed St. Augustine man

Florida Highway Patrol says woman was speeding without headlights in fatal 2019 crash

Booking photo of Grace Ann King (St. Johns County Sheriff's Office)

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A St. Johns County jury has convicted a woman of DUV manslaughter in a 2019 crash that killed a St. Augustine father of two.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Grace King was driving impaired and speeding without her headlights on when her SUV crashed into a pickup truck driven by Desmond Oesterreicher on U.S. 1 on Feb. 4, 2019. Troopers said the accident occurred about 6:40 p.m. -- about 35 minutes after sunset.

According to the FHP report, King was going 89 mph northbound in a 60 mph zone when Oesterreicher’s Ford Ranger turned crossed the northbound lanes at the intersection of Stokes Landing Road, near Cornwell’s Market.

Oesterreicher, 57, died at the scene. King was seriously injured in the crash.

According to the FHP report, toxicology results showed King was “under the influence of both alcohol and controlled substances at the time of the crash.”

Facebook photo of Desmond Oesterreicher

Oesterreicher was remembered by friends and family as a loving father and friend who spent his whole life in St. Augustine.

Friends told News4Jax that Oesterreicher never knew a stranger, made people smile and loved his family.

Oesterreicher left behind two children, a teenager and a 9-year-old.

News4Jax found several previous citations for King in St. Johns County, including speeding six times and twice driving with a suspended or revoked license. She was also cited twice for speeding in Duval County.

King was also charged with DUI in 2019 after an incident on Town Center Parkway in Jacksonville in which she admitted to drinking and taking Xanax before driving, according to police. That was nearly four months after the fatal crash with Oesterreicher.


About the Authors:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.

Florida-born multi-media journalist pays special attention to issues in St. Johns County.