NewsSarasota, Manatee County


DUI crash victim's family 'alarmed' after suspect's alcohol ban is lifted

Posted at 11:46 PM, Sep 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-19 03:12:13-04

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Family members of a Sarasota grandmother killed in a deadly drunk-driving crash are demanding answers after finding out the accused driver was recently allowed to drink alcohol, despite a bond condition banning him from drinking.

ABC Action News previously reported 70-year-old Audrey Kramer was killed in a multi-vehicle crash September 8 in Sarasota.

Troopers arrested David Buncik after they say he drove drunk, ran a red light and crashed into three cars. Buncik also tried to run away from the scene.

RELATED: Man accused of driving drunk, killing woman and injuring her 5-month-old grandson in crash

ABC Action News has learned, Buncik was out on bond at the time of the crash after police officers arrested him in March for selling cocaine and ecstasy in Sarasota County.

In May, Buncik's attorney filed a motion requesting his client be allowed to drink alcohol. With support from the Office of the State Attorney, a judge lifted the alcohol ban in late May.

"I want to know why he was able to drink," Michelle Kramer-Baltaji demanded. "If he was an informant and they were going to allow him to drink, how did they expect him to drive? That's what I want to know."

Kramer-Baltaji was driving her 6-month-old son and mother, Audrey Kramer, at the time of the deadly crash. Her son, Abed, suffered a fractured femur, fractured skull and a concussion.

"I will never be able to replace my mom and my son will never be able to see his grandmother," said Kramer-Baltaji.

ABC Action News asked Sarasota Police if Buncik's bond modification was in response to their request he be allowed to drink alcohol while acting as a confidential informant.

A spokesperson sent this statement in response:

We will not answer any questions about any possible confidential informants because it can jeopardize their life or the lives of our officers.

There are dangers associated with the undercover work done by our officers in the Narcotics Unit as well as any officer who puts on a gun and badge and serves and protects our community. The dangerous job of undercover work done by our officers is in an effort to continue to keep the City of Sarasota a safe place to live, work and play.

It’s always a tragedy to hear about someone losing their life or being injured as a result of a preventable crime such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Our agency is committed to continuing to investigate and arrest people who commit crimes related to drugs and alcohol.

ABC Action News reached out to the Office of the State Attorney in Sarasota for comment but has yet to hear back.

Kramer-Baltaji is now focused on her son's recovery and, she says, making sure the legal system doesn't not fail her family a second time.

"This guy may get put in jail, he still has his family. He took my family away," she said.