December 08 2016
The Florida Highway Patrol has charged nineteen year-old Chase James Paul Locke of Laurel Hill with DUI Negligent Manslaughter for the October 16th accident that took the life of Benny Lee Howell.
Locke was operating a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado that was traveling West on Steele Mill Creek Road approximately .4 miles west of CR 393. At approximately 4:30 am October 16, 2016, Locke failed to maintain control of the truck and drove into a ditch on the North side of the roadway colliding with the embankment. The truck came to rest in the westbound lane of Steele Mill Creek Road.
Locke received minor injuries in the accident and was transported to the North Okaloosa Medical Center in Crestview. Howell was also transported to the Medical Center in Crestview where he succumbed to his injuries.
As a result of the accident, the Florida Highway Patrol began a Traffic Homicide Investigation and applied for a Search Warrant, Locke’s blood was drawn for toxicology purposes. The toxicology testing indicated that the blood alcohol level present was over the legal limit of .08.
An arrest warrant was applied for and granted and on December 02, 2016 Locke was arrested and booked into the Okaloosa County Jail for DUI Negligent Manslaughter.