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Suspected Drunk Driver Kills Female Football Player And Future Marine While She Was Riding Bike
Authorities say Neil Singhal was driving erratically when he veered into a bike lane and fatally struck 17-year-old Sophia Delott.
The promising future of a Florida high school football player and aspiring Marine was cut short Friday after a suspected drunk driver took her life.
Sophia Delott, 17, of Indian Rocks Beach, was riding her bicycle Friday night when authorities say she was struck by a man driving a BMW.
Neil Singhal, 69, allegedly struck her with such force, she was thrown from the bike, local outlet Fox 13 reports.
A "witness advised seeing the defendant veer into the bike lane and strike the victim," a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office arrest report obtained by Oxygen.com states.
Delott was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she died.
Singhal "showed numerous indicators of impairment during field sobriety tests," according to the arrest report. A deputy noted that he had slurred speech, bloodshot, glassy eyes and that he reeked of alcohol.
Prosecutors additionally alleged a bottle of vodka was found in his car at the time of the crash, Fox 13 reports.
Singhal has been charged with DUI manslaughter. He is being held on $200,000 bond. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time.
Delott was loved by the Seminole High School Warhawks football team, where she played safety.
"It is with an extremely heavy heart and incredible sadness that I write this post," the team wrote Saturday. "Last night, one of our own was taken from us by a drunk driver. Sophie was a Warhawk through and through. She was a Marine. Most of all, she was our family."
She was the only female on the team.
"She asked not to be treated differently, so we didn't treat her differently," head coach Chris Miller told Fox 13. "She quietly earned the respect of everyone on the team."
She had planned to enlist in the Marines.
"I wanted her to do well, and I knew she was going to -- we all saw that," her recruiter, Sgt. Paul Digness told Fox 13. "And it's a big loss because I know the potential she had just in my short time I had with her."