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Central Florida man faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to fatal DUI crash


BARTOW, Florida — A central Florida man faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide.

As attorneys were selecting jurors for his Polk County trial, 35-year-old Heath Whiteaker entered his plea Tuesday. He faces a minimum of four years at his Aug. 14 sentencing.

Authorities say Whiteaker was arrested two years ago for a December 2011 crash that killed his passenger, 33-year-old Adam Brant Walker. The Ledger ( ) reports that Whiteaker crashed into a tractor-trailer that had slowed for an approaching train.

After the crash, Whiteaker's blood alcohol level was recorded at 0.153 percent. State law considers a driver impaired at 0.08.

Information from: The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida),

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