Driver in crash killing New York's 'Dr. Vodka' charged with homicide

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 25, 2014 1:42 PM

By Kevin Gray

MIAMI (Reuters) - A Lamborghini driver whose passenger, New York vodka entrepreneur Malcolm Lloyd, was killed after he plowed into a sports utility vehicle in a high-speed car crash in Miami was charged with vehicular homicide on Friday, police said.

Andres Esteban Toro, 53, was hospitalized in critical condition after the crash early Thursday morning that killed the founder of the Double Cross Vodka brand.

Lloyd, 42, was a passenger in the sports car that police and witness said was traveling at more than 100 miles an hour when it hit a Chevrolet Suburban SUV stopped at a red light, according Miami Beach police.

The SUV driver is hospitalized in serious condition, authorities said.

Known by some in the spirits industry as "Dr. Vodka" after he switched from a medical career to work with his godfather in the liquor business, Lloyd was honored by Goldman Sachs as one of the top 100 innovative U.S. entrepreneurs in 2012.

Miami Beach Police spokeswoman Vivian Thayer said Toro could

face additional charges depending on the results of toxicology tests.

Police said in an arrest affidavit that Toro had a "strong smell" of alcohol and "slurred speech" when they arrived on the scene.

The crash closed both lanes of a causeway that connects Miami to the popular tourist destination, South Beach, snarling traffic for more than 10 hours as police cleared debris and investigated the accident.

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According to the affidavit, witnesses said Toro was driving fast as he approached the red light and attempted to switch lanes but there was no evidence he tried to brake before the stoplight.

A founder of the company Old Nassau Imports, Lloyd launched Double Cross Vodka in 2008. He told the magazine Haute Living in 2011 that Double Cross was inspired by "an incredible master distiller" in the Terra Mountains of Slovakia.

(Additional reporting by Zachary Fagenson; Editing by Richard Chang)