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Leyritz charged in fatal car accident

Former major leaguer Jim Leyritz was arrested Friday on charges of driving under the influence and killing a driver after his car crashed into hers.

Leyritz was charged with DUI manslaughter and DUI property damage, said Detective Kathy Collins, Fort Lauderdale police spokeswoman. He posted the $11,000 bond and was released from Broward County jail.

Police believe alcohol was involved in the crash, though investigators are awaiting results of blood alcohol tests, Collins said.

Leyritz played for six major league teams, starred in the 1996 World Series and was last in the majors in 2000.

Leyritz, who lives in Davie, turned 44 Thursday. It could not be determined if he had a lawyer. A telephone message left on an answering machine at the home address he gave police was not immediately returned.

Fort Lauderdale authorities got a call at 3:20 a.m. that a crash occurred in the city's entertainment district, Collins said. She said Leyritz was driving a 2006 Ford Expedition when he collided at an intersection with 30-year-old Fredia Ann Veitch of Plantation, who was driving a 2000 Mitsubishi Montero.

Veitch was ejected from the car, police said. She died at Broward General Medical Center, Collins said.

Witnesses told police Leyritz had a red light. Officers on the scene observed Leyritz to have red, watery eyes, a flushed face and an odor of alcohol, police said.

Leyritz was told Veitch had died and he was asked to submit to a blood test, police said.

"After he refused, Leyritz was informed that blood would be taken above his refusal," the police statement said.

In 1996, Leyritz hit a home run for the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the World Series against Atlanta. The homer made it 6-6, and the Yankees went on to win in 10 innings. New York took the Series in six games for its first title in 18 years.

Leyritz was mostly a catcher during his 11 seasons, averaging .264 with 90 homers. He also played for the Angels, Rangers, Red Sox, Padres and Dodgers.

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