THE ORLANDO SENTINEL – Sunday, April 1, 2001
DANNY A. ROSARIO , 26, Willner Circle, Sanford, died Friday, March 30, from injuries suffered in an auto accident. Mr. Rosario was a stocker for Publix. Born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, he moved to Central Florida in 1988. He was a member of Catholic Church of the Annunciation . Survivors: mother, Margaret E. Curran, Lake Mary; stepfather, Thomas J. Burns, Lake Mary; maternal grandmother, Agnes Curran, New York; paternal grandmother, Francesca Montalvo, Puerto Rico; paternal grandfather, Nelson Centero, Puerto Rico. Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home-Oaklawn Chapel, Sanford.
Click on the links below to listen to a song called “For Danny” and view the Order of Mass for his funeral and an article that appeared in the Florida Catholic.
Head On Crash Kills Principal’s Son. The other driver — one of her former students — was in critical condition after the accident Friday in Sanford.
ORLANDO SENTINEL – Saturday, March 31, 2001. Author: Kevin P. Connolly of The Sentinel Staff
SANFORD — Zachary Frank was an altar boy and attended All Souls Catholic School when Margaret Curran was principal there.
Daniel Rosario was Curran’s only child. The two young men crossed paths violently early Friday in a head-on, two-vehicle collision on State Road 46. The crash killed Rosario , 26, hospitalized Frank, 18, and devastated their families and friends throughout Sanford and Central Florida’s Catholic community.
“It’s a double tragedy,” said Father Patrick Caverly, pastor of Church of the Annunciation in Altamonte Springs. The church school, Annunciation Catholic Academy, has been run by Curran since it opened about six years ago. Before that, Curran was the principal at All Souls. Curran’s friend Maxine Lazar said Curran remembers Frank and his family from those days and “knows they’re a very good family and she’s grieving” for them. Curran, through her friend, described her only child as “a great gift that God gave her for 26 years.”
The crash happened at 3:40 a.m. along a stretch of S.R. 46 not far from a parcel All Souls Catholic Church in Sanford is now considering for a larger church and grade school. Rosario was driving to a Publix in Lake Mary, where he was a dairy clerk. He had worked for the supermarket chain since 1992, a year before graduating from Lake Mary High School, and he planned to go into management one day. He was living in an apartment, but his goal this year was to buy a house.
Rosario was headed west in a 1996 Honda Civic. Frank was driving a 1997 Ford pickup east in the westbound lane, officials said. It was raining, and they collided about a half-mile west of Airport Boulevard, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Rosario died at the scene, a highway trooper said.
When he didn’t show up for work, someone from the store called his mother. Frank, who works for a heating and air-conditioning company, was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he underwent surgery for severe head injuries. He was in critical condition late Friday. Authorities are investigating whether alcohol was involved, said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Victor Fuentes. Frank’s grandparents said they weren’t sure where the young man was going or why he was in the wrong lane. “He’s a sweetheart,” said his grandmother, Viola Frank. “Everybody is so upset.” After Frank left All Souls Catholic School, she said, he received his GED from Seminole Community College. He has been working for the heating and air-conditioning company for about six or eight months, said his grandfather, Richard Frank. About a month ago, he moved in with about three other young men in a house less than four blocks from where the accident happened, he said.
2 Families Share Tragedy of Fatal Crash – Daniel Rosario, 26 died in a head-on collision in 2001. The man who hit him has brain damage.
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL – Thursday, September 4, 2003. Author: Rene Stutzman, Sentinel Staff Writer
SANFORD — Margaret Curran was worried. Her son, Daniel Rosario , 26, was missing. His boss at Publix in Lake Mary had called about 4 a.m., saying Rosario was 10 minutes late for work — something that never happened. Curran got into her car and drove the same route her son would have taken. About 4:15 a.m., she found his car. It was crushed, sitting crosswise in the middle of State Road 46. He had died in a grinding head-on crash.
Curran told her story Wednesday on the first day of testimony at the trial of the man accused of killing him: Zachary Frank, 20, of Sanford, who is charged with DUI manslaughter. The defendant is no stranger to Curran. Frank attended the private elementary school in Sanford where she was principal. “He was a polite young man,” she said. And she has known his parents, Chris and Donna Frank, for 15 years. “I have always loved the Frank family,” she said.
The defendant’s grandmother, Viola Frank, hugged Curran outside the courtroom after her testimony Wednesday. “See you tomorrow?” Viola Frank asked. “Yes,” Curran replied.
It will likely be a difficult week for both families. Prosecutor Charley Tabscott told jurors Wednesday that Frank was legally drunk and driving in his underwear when he pulled his Ford pickup onto the wrong side of S.R. 46, a divided highway, and plowed into Rosario’s Honda Civic. The crash happened about 3:40 a.m. March 30, 2001, a foggy, rainy morning. A blood expert hired by the state is expected to testify that Frank’s blood-alcohol level was 0.10 — above the 0.08 limit set by state law. Hospital records also show that he tested positive for marijuana. Defense attorney Richard Mamele said Frank was not drunk. The state is relying on blood work done by medical personnel at Orlando Regional Medical Center, where Frank was taken the morning of the crash. Those tests are not as precise as ones done in crime laboratories, Mamele said. A defense expert will testify that Frank had the equivalent of only one 12-ounce beer in his system and was far below the legal limit, Mamele said.
One of the most compelling witnesses was Tobbie Wright, a Publix employee who was nearly the victim of a head-on crash on S.R. 46 that same night. Wright lived in the same Sanford apartment complex as Rosario. In fact, she said “Hi” to him at about 3:30 a.m. as they both climbed into their cars to head to work at separate supermarkets. She drove the same route Rosario did — west on S.R. 46 toward Interstate 4 — but was a few seconds ahead of him.
As she topped a railroad overpass, she saw another set of headlights, this one coming straight at her in her lane. “I was terrified,” she said. She veered to the left, into the grassy median, and avoided a crash. She could not see who was driving but said it was a white pickup. Frank was driving a white 1997 Ford F-250 pickup.
A few seconds later, Evans Bacon III of Sanford was driving that same stretch of road. Rosario passed him on the left, Bacon told jurors, then he heard a crash and “saw a white something fly over the top of my car.” According to the homicide investigation by Sanford police Sgt. Gregory Smith, Frank hit Rosario head-on, and then his truck climbed onto the hood of the car before spinning free and winding up on its side. The impact pushed Rosario’s car into Bacon’s Jaguar. Bacon was not seriously hurt. The crash left Zachary Frank with permanent brain damage, Mamele said, and the defendant cannot remember what happened that morning. In fact, cognitive tests show his short-term memory is so impaired that he can recall something only if it happened within the past 15 minutes, Mamele said.
Curran said her heart goes out to Frank’s parents. “I feel so sorry for Donna and Chris [Frank]. My son is in heaven. I have the easier part of the two,” she said.
Man Sentenced to 10 1/2 Years in DUI Death.
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL – Thursday, October 23, 2003
A 20-year-old Sanford man who got drunk and crashed his pickup head-on into the car of another man on his way to work was sentenced Wednesday to 10 1/2 years in prison for DUI manslaughter. Daniel Rosario , 26, of Sanford was killed March 30, 2001. Zachary Frank plowed into his car just west of Sanford. Frank was in the wrong lane on State Road 46 — a four-lane highway with a wide, grassy median.
On Wednesday, a tearful Frank apologized to Rosario’s family, as well as his own, for the grief and suffering he has caused. “I don’t think I can ever forgive myself fully,” he said. “The past two years have been a living hell.” Still, he asked Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson not to send him to prison. He has a 14-month-old child, he said, and a girlfriend whom he loves. “For their sake, please be merciful on me, your honor,” he said. A six-member jury convicted Frank on Sept. 5.
Court cites privacy violations, tosses DUI-manslaughter verdict.
Orlando Sentinel, The (FL) – Saturday, August 27, 2005
Author: Rene Stutzman, Sentinel Staff Writer
An appeals court on Friday threw out the DUI-manslaughter conviction of a Sanford man, saying police took medical records — including his blood-alcohol reading — from a hospital without authorization.
Zachary Frank, now 22, was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center on March 30, 2001, in a coma. He had been driving his Ford pickup on the wrong side of State Road 46 in the rain and fog about 3:40 a.m. when he collided head-on with a car driven by Daniel Rosario . Rosario, 26, of Sanford, a dairy clerk at Publix, was dead at the scene.
Frank suffered a severe head injury from which he has largely recovered, but it required him to relearn basic skills, such as how to walk and talk. A jury found Frank guilty on Sept. 5, 2003. Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson sentenced him to 101/2 years in prison. On Friday, he was still at the state prison in Lake County, according to the Florida Department of Corrections’ Web site. He may be released soon, though. The 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach on Friday reversed his conviction and ordered a new trial. It ruled that Sanford police violated Frank’s privacy rights when, two months after the crash, an officer picked up the defendant’s medical records from ORMC without first notifying Frank. “You just can’t do that,” defense attorney Mike Snure said.
Records showed Frank’s blood-alcohol level was 0.10, above the state limit of 0.08. They also showed he had marijuana in his system. Snure and co-counsel Richard Mamele had asked Nelson to block that evidence, but she allowed it during the trial.
The appeals court said she shouldn’t have. Jurors should never have learned about Frank’s blood-alcohol level because police “made no effort” to comply with state law, which is designed to protect the privacy of medical information, wrote appeals Judge Richard Orfinger. “We take no pleasure in reaching this result, knowing that a retrial will be painful for survivors of the victim killed in the crash. However, the law of our state compels this result,” Orfinger wrote.
The decision, Snure said, was a victory for privacy rights. Assistant State Attorney Chris White said Friday that his office had not decided whether to ask the appeals court for a new hearing or to simply begin preparing for another trial.
The first trial, two years ago in Sanford, was emotional. Both families had known each other for years and were kind and consoling to each other. Frank had attended All Souls Catholic School in Sanford when Rosario’s mother, Margaret Curran, was principal. She knew him well. During the trial, she had described him as “a polite young man.” Curran would not comment Friday. Frank’s parents, Chris and Donna Frank, could not be reached for comment.
The state’s medical expert, Dr. Bruce Goldberger, evaluated the hospital’s blood-alcohol test results and testified that Frank probably had five beers that night. His defense attorneys said he had one. Frank was four blocks from home and was on the wrong side of a wide, grassy median so that he was driving into oncoming traffic, according to testimony. He had no memory of the crash, his attorneys said at the trial, the result of the brain injury he suffered.
Man gets 7 years in ’01 death – Zachary Frank of Sanford pleads no contest to vehicular homicide.
Orlando Sentinel, The (FL) – Wednesday, February 1, 2006
SANFORD — Zachary Frank, whose DUI-manslaughter conviction was thrown out by an appeals court, pleaded no contest to a lesser charge and was sentenced to seven years in prison for driving down the wrong side of the road and killing a Publix employee on his way to work before dawn. Frank, 23, of Sanford was originally sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison for the March 30, 2001, crash on State Road 46 in Sanford that killed Daniel Rosario , 26, of Sanford.
But the 5th District Court of Appeal ordered a new trial in August, saying police had violated his privacy by getting his blood-alcohol level from hospital paperwork without authorization. Those records showed his blood-alcohol level was 0.10 that morning, above the 0.08 maximum allowed by law. They also revealed that he tested positive for marijuana. Frank, 18 at the time of the crash, was on the wrong side of a wide grassy median on a rainy, foggy morning about 3:40 a.m. when his truck plowed into Rosario’s car. Rosario was dead at the scene. Frank suffered severe head injuries that put him into a coma. He still suffers its aftereffects, defense attorney Richard Mamele said Tuesday.
Frank has already served more than two years behind bars. Mamele calculated that, with time off for good behavior, the plea agreement formalized Thursday means he will spend about three more years in prison. Frank pleaded no contest to vehicular homicide.
Rosario’s mother, Margaret Curran, Frank’s former principal at All Souls Catholic School, said Tuesday that she was pleased with the plea agreement. “I think it was compassionate and comprehensive,” she said.
In addition to prison, it calls for a 2 1/2-year term of probation and requires him to get mental-health counseling and complete a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
SEE IMAGES and AUDIO below.
Daniel Angel Rosario - Danny - was killed by a drunk driver on March 30, 2001. Chris worked with Danny at the Publix in Lake Mary and wrote this instrumental piece in his honor. Inspired by the song, Chris' mother wrote words to the song.
Friends calling, tears falling
Did you hear? Danny died today.
Moms crying, Dads sighing
Why did it end this way?
Hearts breaking, Souls aching
God, take this pain away.
Vaya con Dios, Danny
'Til we meet again someday.