One of the people who were hit by a speeding ATV driven by Miami Beach Police Officer Derick Kuilan took the witness stand at his felony trial Tuesday.
Kitzy Nicanor was on the beach when she and Luis Almonte were struck by Kuilan's ATV. The accident left Nicanor unable to remember anything about the accident. At the trial, she said the next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital.
“Were you in pain?” the prosecutor asked. “Yes,” Nicanor answered. “How long were you in the hospital?” the prosecutor asked. “Two months,” Nicanor replied.
Nicanor told the court that as a result of the accident, she has a plate in her hip, has difficulty walking and has had a personality change. “I am not a people person anymore,” Nicanor said in court. “I have to control my emotions. I can’t control it.”
During the second day of testimony on Tuesday, Nicanor’s aunt, Janet Hooker, said she saw the accident and that Kuilan admitted he was responsible for it.
“I asked him, 'Did you run over her?’ and he said ‘Yes,’” Hooker told the court.
Prosecutors say that when he slammed into the two beach-goers, Kuilan was joy-riding on a Miami Beach Police ATV with a woman he met drinking at a South Beach nightclub bachelorette party while he was on duty.
He is charged with two counts of driving under the influence with serious bodily injury and two counts of reckless driving with bodily injury.
Hours after the accident police would take a blood sample from Kuilan that showed a blood alcohol level of .088, authorities said. Kuilan and the other police officer who was drinking with him at the bachelorette party at the Clevelander Hotel, Rolando Gutierrez, were eventually fired from the Miami Beach Police Department.
Kuilan's attorney has said the blood test was taken against his client's will, and disputes that Kuilan was driving recklessly.
Each charge carries a potential five-year prison sentence.