A Florida man charged with DUI manslaughter in the July 2018 death of a real estate attorney was allegedly high on nitrous oxide when he hit the man with his vehicle, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Joseph Franco, 27, had initially been charged with tampering after the fatal crash, but the new, more serious charge was added after further investigation, the Miami Herald reported.
Franco inhaled the nitrous oxide before fatally hitting Amir Pelleg and injuring his wife and two daughters, investigators said. Police discovered a dozen used canisters labeled XXX Platinum Triple Refined Cream Chargers inside a bag Franco was reportedly seen dumping after the accident. The cream chargers, also known as “whippets,” were an adult-themed item intended to be used to make whipped cream.
Franco received the additional charge after a forensic lab determined the canisters contained an illegal amount of nitrous oxide, according to the Miami Herald. Officials said an investigation into the car’s black box determined that Franco did not brake or swerve before the crash.
Franco was reportedly on house arrest awaiting a trial on the tampering charge when the new charge was handed down. He was booked into jail Wednesday.