USF student faces charges for drunken driving

USF student John Robert Templeton, Jr. was charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide early Saturday.

Templeton, 19 from Dunedin, was heading Northbound in the Southbound lane of SR. 93 when he struck the front of 18-year-old Julie N. Buckner’s 2000 Honda, according to a press release from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Buckner’s car rotated counterclockwise until a third vehicle struck the front of her vehicle, pushing it off the road into a concrete ditch.

According to the report, Buckner, from Lutz, was wearing her seat belt but was killed when she was ejected from her car during the accident, which occurred at 3:28 a.m.

There were no other passengers in Buckner’s vehicle, but a passenger fled from Templeton’s 2002 Ford after the accident, the report stated.

Templeton was taken to Orient Road Jail after the accident and held there on a $55, 000 bond, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff Office’s charge report. Templeton was released on a surety bond Sunday afternoon.

DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide are both second-degree felonies and each carry up to 15 years in prison.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1,264 alcohol-related traffic deaths in Florida last year, 41 percent nationwide.