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Officer’s Girlfriend Charged With DUI Manslaughter in His Death

Posted on September 13, 2008

It was a tragic end to a Jacksonville police officer’;s life.

50-year-old Officer Michael Hartsfield died July 30, when the car her was a passenger in crashed off Fort Caroline Road. It was driven by his friend, 45- year-old Vicki Mullins.

She reportedly lost control of the car on a curve during the evening hours. No other cars were involved. The car hit a ditch and then bounced off the culvert before landing on its roof.   The car was a convertible Ford Mustang. Officer Hartsfield died at the hospital after he was cut out of the vehicle.   Mullins was hurt also.

Now police say her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit and they believe speed may have been a factor. She’;s been charged with DUI manslaughter and is in jail tonight on $750,000 bond.

The officer was an 18-year veteran of the Sheriff’;s office.

Hartsfield is survived by three children. His family tells First Coast News they don’;t understand why the father got into a car with an intoxicated driver but they tell First Coast News that they are relieved that she has been charged.

“He probably had no understanding of what was happening when he got in that car,” his son John told the news channel.

Florida has some heavy penalties for driving drunk. Earlier this year, a 24-year old from Palm Beach County, drove drunk and killed two people and received a 24 year sentence.

A DUI vehicular manslaughter in the second degree can send someone to state prison for a minimum of 10 to 15 years, according to the sentencing guidelines. Conviction of a felony in the first degree can keep you behind bars for up to 30 years or longer.

It is certainly something to consider if you plan to drink and drive. Just one error in judgment can have a lifetime consequence, and it can happen to anyone. Our condolences go out to the families involved.