Local News

Durham toddler dies after suspected drunk driving wreck

Posted August 9, 2009
Updated August 10, 2009

— A 2-year-old Durham girl died this weekend of injuries sustained in a wreck in Orlando, Fla., that authorities say was caused by a drunken driver.

Isabella Zepka was taken off life support Saturday, a hospital spokesman told CBS affiliate WKMG. She had suffered a fractured skull and internal injuries in the wreck Wednesday evening.

According to the wreck report, Isabella's 43-year-old father, Robert, was turning left when their PT Cruiser was T-boned by black Cadillac driven by John Molnar, 36, of Davenport, Fla.

Isabella's 9-year-old brother, Alexander, also suffered serious injuries, while her father had minor injuries. Molnar wasn't injured.

The wreck report says that Molnar ran a red light and appeared to be intoxicated. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and possession of cocaine and later released on a $11,000 bond.

Since Isabella died, authorities plan to upgrade charges against him.

The Zepka family was vacationing in Florida.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • dugmeister Aug 10, 2009

    more on Molnars past here...


  • dugmeister Aug 10, 2009

    If you want to stop drunk driving - similar to the implementation of 'air bags' to make us all safer - why not make interlock ignition devices (breathalyzers) MANDATORY on all US sold vehicles. I realize this opens a potential can of worms, such as regular calibration of the device, etc. But... it could be done - but I don't see it ever happening.

  • dugmeister Aug 10, 2009

    I think his bond will be raised. It appears it was set before the precious little girl died. Wouldn't be surprised to see it go to 100K or higher when the new charges have been filed.

  • adsandsuch Aug 10, 2009

    What a tragic story. Many folks here don't seem to understand that bond is not intended to be punishment. It's not a fine. It's just an amount of money you (or a bondsman) have to give the court that the court holds to ensure that you show up for your trial. By showing up for the trial, you get the money back (less the bondsman's fees).

    His punishment will be determined at the trial. So he's not getting off with just a $11k fine. He'll likely go to jail. Or so we hope.

  • Adelinthe Aug 10, 2009

    "What a shame that he gets to walk free after only an $11K bond?!"


    When a death has occurred due to a drunk driver, their bond should never be less than $1M - BECAUSE THEIR SELFISHNESS CAUSED A DEATH.

    Praying for the family.

    God bless.


  • shellrocks2000 Aug 10, 2009

    My heart goes out to this family. A precious child taken too early from us. What a shame that he gets to walk free after only an $11K bond?! He should rot in prison.

  • Adelinthe Aug 10, 2009

    hky - "The robes and suits appear to be just fine with that as it's a consistent cash cow for them."

    Interesting statement.

    Will have to think about it more.

    Very interesting.

    God bless.


  • Adelinthe Aug 10, 2009

    meh - "Why on earth do drunk people drive?"

    Selfishness, pure and simple.

    They put their own needs and desires above those of all others.

    God bless.


  • Adelinthe Aug 10, 2009

    Willow - "start executing drunks"

    I thought this was a very odd thing to say, then I saw who said it.

    We often don't even execute mass murders, so why execute a drunk driver???

    Can anyone say, "Dark Ages"

  • Adelinthe Aug 10, 2009

    If found guilty of drunk driving, HE SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH 1ST DEGREE MURDER, for one who drinks knowing they will later be driving, premeditates, and when their actions cause death or injury, it should be treated as though the perp picked up a loaded gun and fired it at their victims.

    Praying for this poor family - what a beautiful little girl she WAS.

    God bless.