Man arrested after speeding in Orange County crash that injured 5 in vehicle, officials say

Herllury Efrain Araujo Villanueva faces reckless driving, child neglect charges

Herllury Efrain Araujo Villanueva (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A man was arrested nearly two weeks after speeding and losing control of a vehicle in an Orange County crash that injured six people, according to an affidavit.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the single-vehicle wreck occurred on Dec. 31 near Hoffner Avenue and Oak Island Road in Belle Isle.

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An affidavit shows 33-year-old Herllury Efrain Araujo Villanueva was driving a Nissan Altima with five passengers when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a residential barrier wall.

Troopers said it appeared that Villanueva was driving at a high rate of speed, failed to negotiate a curb, lost control of the vehicle and went into the wall, causing significant damage.

According to FHP, Villanueva was the only person in the vehicle wearing a seatbelt, and was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. Troopers said one victim was sitting on the lap of another passenger in the back, middle seat and was “propelled forward,” causing them to hit the windshield.

Two passengers, 15 and 18, were taken to the hospital with serious injuries, according to FHP. The three other passengers in the vehicle were transported to the hospital with minor injuries, troopers said.

When troopers interviewed Villanueva, he told them that he met two girls at a nightclub and offered them a ride home, but did not know their ages, according to the affidavit.

On Jan. 5, the FHP interviewed one of the victims, who told troopers that Villanueva started “showing off by speeding and driving recklessly resulting in the crash.”

The victim also told troopers that they believed they were not being taken to their home, as the vehicle was driving away from their address, according to the affidavit.

Villanueva was arrested on Jan. 8 and transported to the Orange County jail, where he faces charges of reckless driving causing serious bodily injury and neglect of a child causing great bodily harm. He is being held on a $10,000 bond.

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About the Author:

Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.