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Man arrested in double fatal crash was driving 100 mph, Orlando police say

Suspect accused of brandishing AK-47 before crash

ORLANDO, Fla. – A man who was high on marijuana is accused of killing two people when he crashed his car while driving 100 mph on Valentine's Day, according to the Orlando Police Department.

Alexander James Francis, 22, was arrested Thursday on multiple charges in connection with the crash.

Police said the incident began around 2:10 a.m. when an employee at Club Lit told officers that Francis had been waving an AK-47 in the parking lot and had just left the bar in a black Honda Civic.

IRIS cameras in the downtown Orlando area helped track Francis as he drove at a high rate of speed on South Hughey Avenue, west on West Church Street then driving on the wrong side of the road, according to the arrest report.

Police said Francis continued speeding and was running a red light when he struck a red Pontiac that was driving southbound on South Orange Blossom Trail. Once both vehicles came to a rest, Francis got out of the Honda, grabbed a black AK-47 and ran to an alleyway where he stashed the gun through an opening in a fence, the affidavit said.

Francis then returned to his vehicle and was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center to be treated for minor injuries he sustained in the crash, according to the report.

The occupants of the red Pontiac, Reginald Leroy Grant Jr. and Thomas Earl Brown, died at the scene of the crash, authorities said.

Francis told police while he was at ORMC that he had been drinking Hennessey and water at Club Lit. Police said his eyes were red and glassy and he smelled of marijuana. Blood tests later determined that he had THC in his blood at the time of the crash.

Police said that even though Francis claimed he was driving 35-40 mph, tests determined that he was driving 100 mph at the time of the impact.

Francis was worked into the Orange County Jail Thursday on charges of vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, tampering with physical evidence, grand theft of a firearm and reckless driving.


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