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Oakland Park Resident Charged With DUI Manslaughter


Police car on the street
Police car on the street

A Collision Ends In A Fatality

Closeup shot of a crashed cars front
Crashed car

On the night of April 2, 2023 two cars, a Nissan Sentra and a Ford F-150, collided at the intersection of NW 35th Street and NW 31st Avenue in Oakland Park when the Nissan turned left into the path of the Ford. Oakland Park Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the accident and transported the driver of the Nissan and the driver and passenger of the Ford F-150 to the hospital. The passenger of the Ford, a 6 year old female, sustained life-threatening injuries and was pronounced deceased two days later on April 4th, 2023.

BSO Investigates the Incident

According to a sworn statement filed by the State for the pretrial detention of the Nissan’s driver, Oakland Park resident, Michael Joseph McKenna Jr., BSO Traffic Homicide Detective Carlos De Jesus stated that McKenna “…did not stop before committing to the left turn“. Dejesus, continued :”There was a vehicle waiting to turn left to proceed south on NW 31st Ave which would act as a visual obstruction to the Offender restricting his ability to observe oncoming traffic“.

The statement also indicates that the blood sample taken from McKenna approximately 30 minutes after the crash revealed a .297/.293 blood alcohol concentration. This fact led the investigator to conclude that enough “probable cause exists to believe the Offender operated his 2020 Nissan Sentra with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property“.

McKenna has two previous DUI offenses, one in 1999 and one in 2003.

Defense Raises Questions About the Cause of the Accident

According to the traffic homicide report, cited in the defendant’s motion to reduce bond, the driver of the Ford may have been driving up to 64 mph in a posted 35 mph zone. On item 11 of the motion it states “Detective De Jesus wrote ‘the crash would have been avoided if the Ford were traveling at the posted speed limit of 35 mph‘ “. It further states that ” ‘ The information learned throughout the course of this investigation indicates that both drivers contributed to the crash‘ “.

Driver Charged Manslaughter Charge

House arrest monitor

Despite any evidence to the contrary, the investigation resulted in McKenna being charged with DUI manslaughter, DUI property damage and DUI personal injury. On July 12, 2023 Mckenna sel-surrendered at the Main Jail and was taken in for processing.

The State’s motion for McKenna’s pre-trial detention was denied. In the petition for denial his attorney stated that 44 year old McKenna is not a flight risk. 

He cited the fact that he has lived in South Florida for 35 years and has immediate and extended family here. Prior to the accident he worked in IT. He graduated from military school and has a college degree. He is a retired Army Captain and a Bronze Star Recipient. He broke 13 bones during the accident and is now wheelchair bound.

McKenna is currently on house arrest.


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