Driver says DUI crash was victim's fault

David Belniak is countersuing driver he hit

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - David Belniak doesn't deny he was under the influence while driving his pick-up truck Christmas Day 2007 on US 19 in Hudson.

"I can't deny that," said Belniak when asked if he was impaired.

But he says he blames the crash that killed three people on the man driving the mangled Chevy Tahoe he hit.

"It was coming in front of me, from my left," said Belniak.

Belniak says he wasn't speeding and the Tahoe moved into his lane leaving him no time to brake.

He says he clearly remembers every detail of what happened up until the point he was knocked unconscious.

"I actually saw the Tahoe start to pivot out until I don't remember anymore. It (his truck) went right into the corner of the Tahoe."

Authorities say Belniak had Xanax, alcohol and evidence of cocaine in his system.

He is already serving 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to 3-counts of DUI manslaughter for the deaths of Gerard and Denise Bassi, and Linda McWilliams.

McWilliam's husband Raymond was driving and survived the wreck. He passed away last year. He is the man Belniak is counter suing for pain and suffering.

"I don't know what I could have done differently. I really don't think it was avoidable. There was absolutely nothing I could have done to avoid it," said Belniak.

Meanwhile, the Bassi's daughter, Jennifer Calabrese, told the jury about the loss she's experienced.

"I dread the day my son or daughter says to me 'mom, where's your parents?' It will break my heart."

Belniak already has two DUI's on his record. In one of those cases police found a gallon of GHB in his car.  GHB is commonly known as the date rape drug.

He also hit and killed a pedestrian in 1994, but wasn't charged. The trial continues next week.

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