A Lake Worth man accused of driving his pickup truck into a 3-year-old girl and killing her told deputies he is diabetic and that he blacked out behind the wheel, according to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office report released Monday.
Steven Warren Barnes, 56, who has a history of traffic violations and lost his license permanently in 1996, showed no emotion after the crash, a deputy and witness noted.
Tests showed he had extremely high blood sugar and a blood-alcohol level of .06. That’s below the legal limit of .08, but deputies noted in the report that someone with diabetes should know the consequences that drinking can have for those with the disease — including losing consciousness.
On Friday, four days after the crash, the Sheriff’s Office got a tip that Barnes planned to leave the area and had family in Mexico. He was arrested the same day and booked into the Palm Beach County Jail, where he’s being held without bail.
Barnes struck toddler Priscila Perez-Garcia, who was walking down the sidewalk, according to the report. He then left a trail of destruction behind him off Kirk Road at about 2:30 p.m. Sept. 23. His truck cut through grass, across the sidewalk and through two driveways before crashing into a tree. He also uprooted shrubs, broke a fence and took down a mailbox.
A woman who saw the crash watched Barnes try to start his truck. She told him not to leave because he’d just hit a child, but saw that he didn’t seem to care. A crash investigator later noticed Barnes “showed no emotion,” according to the report.
Barnes had a blood-sugar level over 500, the highest the paramedics’ equipment could register. A normal level is in the low 100s.
In the truck, deputies found a hand towel, an open bag of floor finishing additive and an empty can of Toulene, which is commonly used for huffing to get high, according to the report.
His criminal history includes two arrests for inhalation of harmful substances and six for DUI. He’s also run into trouble for driving without a valid license nine times. In the recent crash, he’s charged with driving while license revoked causing death.
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