Contact: David Chapman
Phone: (904) 255-3004
Cell: (904) 524-6626

Dec.13, 2018


State Attorney Melissa Nelson announces today that Tara Thrift was found guilty by a jury of Vehicular Homicide and three counts of Reckless Driving Causing Property Damage. Thrift now faces a maximum of 15 years in Florida State Prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled to be set by the Honorable James H. Daniel on Jan. 22, 2019.

At approximately 10 a.m. Dec. 1, 2016, Thrift was driving a Nissan van southbound on St. Johns Bluff Road when she ran through the intersection at Beach Boulevard, crossed over a raised median, and struck a white Honda driven by 18-year-old Denny Grahovic as he waited at a red light to turn north onto St. Johns Bluff Road from a dedicated turn lane. Thrift’s vehicle also struck a fuel truck and pushed the truck into another car. Grahovic died from the crash. Witnesses and red-light camera video showed Thrift operating her vehicle without regard for other traffic and going through multiple red lights. After endangering other traffic, Thrift accelerated into the intersection against a red light where she struck the driver’s side of Mr. Grahovic’s stopped car.

The case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys John Kalinowski and Brooke Gasson.

Download the official release:
SAO4 Release – Thrift Verdict

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