A member of the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame crashed into and killed a man while driving drunk in central Florida earlier this year, authorities said.
Tamara Lynn “Sunny” Sytch caused the wreck that killed Julian Lasseter on 25 March but it was not until later that a toxicology test confirmed the 49-year-old former pro wrestling personality had a blood-alcohol level more than three times over the legal limit at the time of the accident, police said in a statement to the Guardian on Monday.
On 5 May, investigators obtained a warrant to arrest Sytch in connection with the death of Lasseter, 75. They said they found her at Daytona Beach’s Hard Rock Hotel on Friday.
Sytch was jailed, accused of one count of causing death by driving under the influence (DUI), one count of causing death while driving without a valid license, four counts of causing injury by DUI, and three counts of damaging property by DUI.
Sytch posted a $227,500 bond to await the outcome of the case out of jail. She did not immediately respond to requests for comment left on telephone numbers associated with her.
On the day Lasseter was killed, Sytch drove her car into the back of another vehicle stopped at a red light in Ormond Beach, police said, adding that the car struck by Sytch hit a third vehicle and Lasseter was mortally injured as a result of the pile-up.
Police said they drew blood from Sytch and tested it for drugs as well as alcohol. The test showed her blood-alcohol was 0.28, well above Florida’s legal limit of 0.08 for motorists.
Ormond Beach police issued a statement expressing condolences to the Lasseters, saying: “Our heartfelt thoughts continue to be with them as we proceed through this process.”
In the ring, as Sunny, Sytch translated her looks and charisma into 1990s WWE superstardom. She served as a valet – essentially, a manager – to a number of male performers given prominent storylines. WWE inducted her into its Hall of Fame in 2011.
Under Florida law, Sytch could face between four and 15 years in prison if convicted of a DUI causing death. It is only her latest brush with the law in recent years, after accusations of violating a domestic violence restraining order, contempt and other DUI offenses.