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Billy Lane, owner of Choppers, Inc. and winner of several Biker Build Offs on the Discover Channel, has been charged with DUI Manslaughter, driving with a suspended license, and driving under the influence with serious bodily injuries in connection with a fatal accident on September 4th.

Lane hit and killed Gerald Morelock, a Sebastian Inlet park ranger from Melbourne Beach riding home from work on his moped, while attempting to pass two vehicles across a double yellow line. Lane and his passenger were both injured and taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center. Morelock, who was wearing a helmet, suffered extensive injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

According to investigators, Lane had been drinking throughout the day. He started at Coconuts on the Beach Restaurant and Bar in Cocoa Beach. From there he went to Cheaters and continued drinking. Investigators said that Lane rode his motorcycle to his shop Choppers, Inc. and then got into his black 2006 Dodge Ram to go to his home.

While traveling south on A1A, Lane attempted to pass two vehicles across a double yellow line and before he could make it back into his lane, he collided with Gerald Morelock. When paramedics arrived on the scene, Gerald was dead. Billy who was still conscious was in the driver’s seat and smelled of alchohol, paramedics said.

Following standard procedure, officers took a blood sample, instead of giving him a field sobriety test. Lane initially resisted officers while his blood was being drawn on the night of the accident. The troopers had to hold him down while a nurse drew the blood.

The FHP rushed Billy’s blood work through the Orlando Lab and the tests came back three weeks later at .192, more than twice the legal limit in Florida.

Charges were not initially filed. Initially the apparent lack of importance the FHP gave the case upset the Morelock family. The Morelock family is pleased with the progress that has been made.

"I'm relieved, but I had faith in the arresting patrolman and I have faith in our legal system," said Byron Morelock, Gerald Morelock’s brother.

"(The investigator) kept in touch with me and said the investigators were crossing their t's and dotting their i's. I'm relieved but it's such a shame this had to happen. There are no winners in this thing. Relieved is the wrong word -- maybe just that some of the tension is gone."

This was not Lane’s first alcohol related traffic incident. The Rowan County Clerk of Courts confirmed that Billy is due to appear in court in October for charges stemming from a drunk driving arrest by the North Carolina Highway Patrol. He was arrested in June when he was driving the wrong way on a two lane road without a helmet. Police suspected him of drunk driving, but he refused a breathalyzer test.

"At the time of the crash (Lane's) license had been suspended," Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kim Miller said. "He should have never been behind the wheel," she added.

On Monday with four lawyers in tow, he quietly surrendered to FHP. He was transferred to the Brevard County Jail. He was released within 90 minutes on a $15,000 bond.

"That does seem low, but, unfortunately for us, we don't set the bond," Miller said. "We would like to see a higher bond, but it's a standard bond."

“Lane must surrender his passport and cannot drive, as part of the requirements of his bond,” Miller said.

Lane’s attorney issued a statement.

"We are currently conducting our own investigation of every aspect of this accident, including the blood alcohol level," Melbourne attorney Kepler Funk said.
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