Suspected drunk driver flees after fatally hitting pedestrian

- Pinellas County deputies said a drunk driver fatally struck a pedestrian who was walking on the sidewalk on Saturday.

According to detectives, 51-year-old Carolyn Yovan was driving her 2004 Lexus when she left the roadway and drove onto the sidewalk, where 40-year-old Peter Chenhall was walking.

"Anyone who knew Pete knew he was a happy young man that enjoyed life," said Steve Chenhall, Pete's father. 

The incident happened around 7p.m. in the area of Captiva Circle and Blind Pass Road in St. Pete Beach. Deputies say Yovan's car swerved off the road, got onto the sidewalk, and struck Chenhall. 

He was rushed to Bayfront Hospital, but died a short time later. 

"This is a nightmare, this isn't happening," were the only words that came to Pete's father when deputies told him the news. 

Deputies said Yovan fled the scene and caused a second crash near Gulf Boulevard and Gulf Winds
Drive. Investigators were then able to connect the two incidents.

Yovan showed signs of impairment, the sheriff's office said. She was charged with driving while license suspended or revoked, leaving the scene of a crash with death, and DUI manslaughter.

This isn't Yovan's first arrest for drunken driving. Records show she has a previous criminal history that includes DUI.

Pete's father has a message for anyone who is thinking about getting behind the wheel after drinking. 

"Let someone else get you home. Her life is ruined, she's ruined our lives and I'm sure she has family that are hurting. It's not just a small group."

 

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