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Leesburg woman arraigned in court after allegedly killing pedestrian in 2019

Heather Pope
Heather Pope

A Leesburg woman was arraigned Monday in Lake County Court in the death of a Chiefland resident.

Heather Pope, 38, has been charged with driving under the influence-manslaughter and vehicular homicide in connection with the July 25, 2019 crash.

Pope was driving a car southbound on County Road 33 when she left the roadway and struck 38-year-old Pauline Elizabeth Martin, a pedestrian. She died after her body landed 71 feet from where she was struck. After striking Martin, Pope crashed into a fence on the other side of the road.

Two eyewitnesses saw the collision, which occurred shortly after 7 p.m. on a clear day, and identified Pope as the driver who struck Martin, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

After the accident, Pope was transported to the Leesburg Regional Medical Center emergency room where she was interviewed by a state trooper. The trooper noted in his report that Pope had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and an odor of alcohol on her breath. Pope agreed to provide blood samples. The blood samples revealed a blood-alcohol level of .160 and the presence of  Lorazepam, Oxazepam and Temazepam, all prescription medications.

Pope was arrested on May 6 of this year and is being held without bond.

Pope was convicted of a separate DUI earlier this year and was sentenced to 12 months probation.

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