Monday, December 31, 2007

Leyritz Knew Victim Of Crash

According to Page Six of the NY Post, Jim Leyritz knew the woman killed when he ran a redlight alledgedly under the influence of alcohol.

From Page Six:

Former Yankee Jim Leyritz knew the woman he killed.

Friends of the baseball star told exclusively, that Leyritz knew Fredia Ann Veitch the 30-year-old mother of two, who died early this morning when he allegedly ran a red light and collided with her vehicle.

“One of Jim’s best friends is friends with Fredia,” a source close to Leyritz told “Jim knew who she was--that’s what makes this even worse.”

Veitch worked as a bartender in a local sports bar. She had left the Original Steakhouse and Sports Theatre in Fort Lauderdale earlier that evening. Erica Chevillar, another close friend of Leyritz, revealed what happened last night at Automatic Slims, the Ft. Lauderdale night club.

Jim Leyritz enjoyed his 44th birthday in style, sipping Grey Goose and tonics, laughing and cracking jokes with his best friends behind the velvet ropes.

“We were all out celebrating, it was his birthday,” Chevillar, 26, said. “The place was packed and we had a table, about ten of us, and we were just hanging out. It wasn’t a crazy night or anything, that’s what’s so strange.”

“When I left, he didn’t seem drunk at all actually. The table had a bottle of vodka, I think he was drinking vodka tonics—but he wasn’t drinking enough for me to even notice,” she said. “He was smiling and laughing all night, we were all having fun. He’s always smiling. You can see him smiling throughout the room wherever we go.”

“People always recognize him and come up to him when we’re out. And he’s always so nice to everyone and that’s how it was last night.” When Chevillar left the club at about 2 a.m., Leyritz stayed with others in the group.

“Most of us had work in the morning, so I said to him, “Happy birthday, I’ll see you later,” and he just smiled and said, “Alright. See ya. He’s such a family guy. It’s devastating. Just devastating. I can’t believe it.”

Coworker Megan Ford described Veitch as a beloved bartender and friend. "Everyone here is really sad,” she said. “We’re short staffed because some servers were too upset to come in to work. She was really nice and had a lot of friends.”
As if it weren't devastating enough, the fact that Veitch was an acquaintance of Leyritz only compounds the loss. The former Yankee deserves whatever punishment he receives because DUI is a transgression yet to be taken seriously enough in terms of repercussions.

That said, it's difficult not to feel some iota of sorrow for all parties involved, including Leyritz. The tragedy however, lies with the deceased victim, Mrs. Veitch.

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