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DUI offender charged in fatal crash


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 27, 2001

TAMPA -- A Hillsborough County man with a history of drunken driving has been charged with the death of a Dover man killed in a hit-and-run accident this month.

Hillsborough sheriff's deputies said Roy Sims, 29, of 2716 E State Road 60, turned himself in Sunday after fleeing a March 14 early morning accident in which 37-year-old Owen Back of 3407 Ranch Road was killed.

Officials said the incident occurred about 5:30 a.m. on Sydney Washer Road, about a quarter mile north of SR 60. Back was headed north on Sydney Washer Road, deputies said, when Sims, southbound, crossed into his lane and struck Back's 1992 Ford Explorer on the driver's side. Sims was driving a 1994 Buick belonging to his mother.

The Explorer rolled and Back, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle and died on scene, said sheriff's spokesman Rod Reder.

The Buick rolled onto its roof and Sims was slightly injured but fled on foot. He was charged Sunday with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident involving a fatality and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Sims, who listed his occupation on jail records as working for a lawn service, is being held on $17,500 bail.

He pleaded guilty to DUI with serious bodily injury in 1991 and received three years' probation. In 1993, he pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license and received community control, and in June of 1995 pleaded guilty to violating that community control and was sentenced to four years in state prison.

Records show Sims served 18 months of that sentence and was released in January 1997.

A year later, in January 1998, he pleaded guilty to both DUI and driving with a suspended license.

In September 1998, Sims was charged with having sex with a minor, and in March 1999 he was sentenced to 17 months in prison on that charge and for being a three-time offender for DUI and driving with a suspended license.

Records show Sims served 85 percent of his sentence and was released from prison in May 2000 to Hillsborough County, where he was placed on probation for two months and 19 days.

- Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Amy Herdy can be reached at (813) 226-3386 or

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