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‘You are dreaming,’ Florida DUI driver tried to convince crash victim, deputies say

A Florida woman who crashed her Mercedes into a man’s vehicle Thanksgiving morning tried to convince the man he was dreaming it up afterward. 

Darlene Bell-Babineaux, 61, of Brandon, was under the influence of drugs when the crash occurred, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office officials. Deputies told ABC Action News in Tampa that the crash occurred around 2:40 a.m.

Bell-Babineaux was driving so fast that when she struck the man’s vehicle, her Mercedes pushed his vehicle backward into a tree, which split as a portion of the vehicle became elevated from the ground, the news station said

The man suffered serious injuries to his foot and ankle, for which he was hospitalized, ABC Action News reported

Before he was rushed from the scene, Bell-Babineaux told the man, “It was no accident. You are dreaming,” deputies told the news station. 

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An arrest report obtained by ABC Action News indicated Bell-Babineaux was disoriented at the scene of the crash, barefoot and with bloodshot eyes. She attempted to hide from deputies in some nearby bushes, according to the report.

Deputies said in the report that Bell-Babineaux refused both breath and blood tests to determine if she was impaired, the news station reported. Crash investigators said they found numerous prescription pills in her Mercedes, including 18 pills for which she had no prescription. 

Bell-Babineaux is charged with possession of a controlled substance, driving under the influence with serious bodily injury and driving under the influence with property damage, ABC Action News reported. The estimate on the property damage caused in the crash was about $25,000.

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