Suspected DUI driver arrested nearly 3 years after crash that killed Leesburg woman

Heather Popes, 38, is facing vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter charges

Heather Popes, 38, was arrested Monday by Lake County deputies and faces vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter charges. (Lake County Sheriff's Office)

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A suspected DUI driver was arrested Monday nearly three years after deputies said she was involved in a crash that killed another woman.

Heather Popes, 38, faces vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter charges for her connection with a crash that killed 35-year-old Pauline Martin on July 25, 2019, an arrest affidavit shows.

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According to the initial crash report by the Florida Highway Patrol, a driver, whom deputies have since determined is Popes, was traveling south on County Road 33 around 7:25 p.m.

At the same time, Martin was walking in the same direction on the west shoulder of CR-33 when the driver also traveled onto the west shoulder as well, hitting Martin, troopers said.

After colliding with Martin, the vehicle traveled southeast, spinning counterclockwise and hit a cable box, guy-wire and two mailboxes, according to investigators.

FHP said Martin was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to updated FHP reports, a toxicology report revealed that Popes tested positive on an alcohol and drug test, warranting her subsequent charges.


About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.