FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A man accused of causing a deadly crash on I-95 made his first court appearance Thursday morning. Bradley Ruben, sporting cuts and bruises on his face, is charged with killing 63-year-old Juan Pedro Garcia and then running from the scene.
“The defendant crashed and then ran, continued to run southbound on foot, he did not walk away casually. He ran,” stated prosecutor Veronica Rivera in court Thursday morning.
The public defender said that’s not accurate.
“He does remain at the scene, and then he walks a distance away and sits down on the railing of I-95,” said public defender Brian Reedy. “According to the police report he went about a quarter of a mile and was sitting on the railing when the police approached him.”
Investigators believe alcohol may have played a role in the crash, but have not charged him as they wait for toxicology reports. In court, Ruben did admit to drug usage.
“The defendant did admit to having an edible, he did admit to feeling its effects. So while he’s not currently charged with DUI, he did have blood drawn, the state will be looking at all possible charges down the road,” said the prosecutor.
“According to the report, he did admit to eating marijuana-laced edible and said it affected him, it certainly doesn’t say it affected him to the extent his normal facilities were impaired,” stated Reedy.
Prosecutors asked for a hundred thousand dollar bond out of concern that he might flee saying he’s a poker player and has made a lot a money.
“He has winnings upwards of $360,000 from what I can find so far,” said Rivera. “The state is concerned with him traveling to different states, traveling outside of the country, he does have financial means.”
“Last year, 2017 he had a great year, he made about 60-thousand dollars, unfortunately, this year he’s in the red, he’s lost more than he’s won.”
Bond was set at $100,000, which he posted. He’ll be released sometime Thursday.
The victim, Juan Pedro Garcia was standing on the right shoulder on I-95 near his wife’s broken door car just north of the Commercial Boulevard exit around 1:00 a.m. Wednesday. As his wife’s car was being loaded onto a tow truck, FHP said, Bradley crashed into it.
The impact knocked his wife’s car into Garcia and Ruben ran south on I-95.
After being taken into custody, Ruben was taken to Broward Health North, where he was treated for minor injuries then booked into the Broward County Jail.
He’s charged with failing to stop at an accident involving death and resisting an officer.
Ruben’s driving history shows six traffic violation convictions, most recently in October for disobeying a red flashing signal. Online court records say he still owes the $185 from that violation and $165 from an improper U-turn violation in 2015. He has paid his fines for careless driving and disobeying a traffic sign (both in August 2012), doing 68 mph in a 55 mph zone (2005) and 75 mph in a 55 mph zone (2002).