Driver, 19, charged with DUI; passenger hospitalized in single-car crash on Hilton Head

rlurye@islandpacket.comDecember 27, 2013 

Matthew Andrew Zitello


Two 2013 Hilton Head Island High School graduates were injured on Christmas in a one-car wreck on Hilton Head Island, leading to the arrest of one for drunken driving, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Matt Zitello, 19, was driving east on Dolphin Head Drive in Hilton Head Plantation at about 11:10 p.m. when his 2005 Infiniti passed through a traffic circle, went airborne and struck a tree, Sgt. Bob Beres said.

Passenger Vianery Garcia, 19, was taken to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Beres said. She was in critical condition Friday afternoon.

Garcia was trapped in the car when the Hilton Head Fire & Rescue Division arrived, according to a news release from the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. After being removed from the vehicle, Garcia was unconscious and appeared to have life-threatening injuries, the release said.

The car had overturned and was discovered about 100 feet into the Seabrook Drive wood line, the release said.

When deputies arrived, they found Zitello sitting on the grass next to Dolphin Head Drive, according to the release. He was taken to Hilton Head Hospital for treatment. On Thursday, the Highway Patrol charged him with felony driving under the influence involving great bodily injury.

Both Zitello and Garcia were wearing seat belts, according to Beres.

Zitello is being held at the Beaufort County Detention Center, with bond set at $100,000, according to the jail log.

Beaufort County Alcohol Beverage Control is investigating alleged underage drinking.

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at

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