Bell man charged with DUI Manslaughter
By Carrie A. Mizell
A 2009 graduate of Bell High School was arrested last week and charged with DUI Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury and DUI Property Damage following a January accident that killed a Lake City man.
Brandon Blanchard, 22, of Bell is being held in the Dixie County Jail on a $450,000 bond after being arrested on Tuesday, Aug. 7 by Florida Highway Patrol troopers. He is scheduled to appear before a judge on September 13, 2012.
Blanchard was reportedly driving a Chevrolet pickup truck north along State Road 349 in Dixie County on January 21, 2012.
At 7 a.m. Blanchard crossed the centerline of the highway and into the path of a Dodge pickup truck that was pulling a boat and trailer south on State Road 349.
The head-on collision caused the driver of the Dodge pickup truck Michael Joyner, 56, of Lake City to be trapped inside his vehicle as it became engulfed in flames. Dixie County Fire Rescue workers pronounced Joyner dead at the scene of the accident.
Joyner was a lifelong resident of Lake City and a father to three children.
At the time of his death, Joyner worked at Champion Home Builders. He was also a certified official and reportedly enjoyed officiating at high school sporting events throughout the area.
Donna Tucker, 49, of Branford, was a passenger in Joyner’s truck when the accident occurred. She was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the Dodge pickup truck on impact. Tucker incurred serious injuries in the accident.
Blanchard was also not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. He suffered serious injuries and, like Tucker, was transported to Shands Hospital for medical treatment following the accident.