wjxt logo

Man accused in St. Johns County crash that killed passenger, unborn twins charged with DUI

FHP says driver was going wrong way on SR 207

Two died and four were injured in a wrong-way crash involving two pickup trucks in 2020.
Two died and four were injured in a wrong-way crash involving two pickup trucks in 2020. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Michael Rhein’s blood-alcohol level was over two times the legal limit when he crashed and killed an Ohio man and a set of unborn twins the day after Christmas in 2020, according to the State Attorney’s Office.

State troopers said Rhein was driving the wrong way on State Road 207 at the time of the collision. He and four others were injured in the crash.

Nearly nine months later, Rhein faces several DUI charges filed by the State Attorney’s Office.

Troopers said Rhein was driving a pickup north in the southbound lanes, about 4 miles west of Interstate 95, when he struck another pickup with five people inside. Rhein was driving the wrong way and was not using headlights, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The Ohio man, a passenger in the second pickup truck, was killed. The pickup’s driver and his wife, who was 9 months pregnant with twins, their 2-year-old daughter and a 32-year-old woman were all injured.

The unborn babies of the driver’s wife died at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville.

Rhein is currently in the St. Johns County jail and will appear in court on Nov. 2.