By: Saraana Jamraj
In 2018, a young man’s life was cut short by a speeding drunk driver in a wrong-way crash.
In the early morning hours of July 25, 2018, Carlos Varas, 39, of Tamarac was driving a Chrysler Town & Country with his passenger at speeds of 76 mph, when he allegedly veered into oncoming traffic.
Traveling northbound in the southbound lane before Griffin Road on Federal Highway, Varas crashed into a Honda Civic driven by Adam Abdou-Essa, 21, of Hollywood and his passenger.
The crash resulted in extreme injuries and damages, shutting the roads down for seven hours. Both drivers and passengers were transported to Broward Health Medical Center.
Varas and Abdou-Essa’s passengers survived; however, Abdou-Essa suffered traumatic brain injuries and fell into a coma.
For five days, his family and friends prayed for a recovery. But, on July 31, 2018, Abdou-Essa succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.
During this time, Broward County Sheriff’s Office was still conducting their investigation — and after a year of collecting witness testimony, physical evidence, and surveillance video, they came to the conclusion that Varas had been drinking at several locations that night, and had a blood alcohol content above 0.80. They determined he showed a reckless disregard for the safety of others.
BSO provided a warrant for his arrest on September 11, and on November 7, arrested him in his Westwood home without incident.
Varas is facing eight charges and is being held without bond.
- Saraana Selene Jamraj is a writer, activist, and a student pursuing her master's degree in mass communications at Florida International University.
She's currently the communications manager at The Salt Box in Parkland and has lived in Coral Springs since 2004.