Street racing to blame in triple fatal accident

- At just 27-year old, Michael Marrero is facing sobering charges: three counts of vehicular homicide following a July 2016 accident claiming the lives of three young adults.

Marrero was arrested Monday after the state made the case, nearly a year later, that he was street racing when he lost control of his Volkswagen GTI on Highway 98 in Lakeland. He crashed head-on into a car driven by 22-year-old Christopher Stewart.

Witnesses say Marrero was driving up to 120 miles per hour. Traffic reconstruction tests pinpoint his speed to about 73 miles per hour, in a 45 mile per hour zone, at the time of the crash.

Stewart, his girlfriend, Katie Pitock, and their friend, Brittany Lewis all died from their injuries. Marrero, although injured, was the only one to survive the crash.

Stewart's mother made a heartbreaking plea to drivers, following the loss of her only son.

"Whether you're driving, boating, please be cautious of other people. You can take someone's life. You can ruin someone's world," Donna Collogan said through tears back in July of 2016.

Marrero is being held in the Polk County Jail on $30,000 bond. If he makes bail, he'll be required to be on GPS-monitored house arrest and is forbidden from drinking alcohol or visiting bars. 

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