May 8th in Loxley. 22-year-old Alec Dvorak crashes head on into Sarah Echols killing her instantly. But, he should have been in jail. Released from a Florida jail two weeks earlier he was supposed to be handed over to the Alabama Department of Corrections.
After the crash, a court order is issued to take Dvorak into custody when he is released from the hospital but he was transferred to a second facility. “I think the order did not make it to the second hospital for them to notify us,” says Baldwin County District Attorney Robert Wilters. So, for the last couple of days, Dvorak was free from custody again. He is now in the Baldwin County Jail.
“The mere fact that this happened made everybody realize that this could happen. Since we know now that it could happen then we will take those steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” says Wilters.
But it could happen again. Budget cuts have slashed courthouse staffs while workloads increase. “Our circuit clerk, I believe, is 10 or 12 clerks below where she should be,” says Wilters and he points to the 171 felony arrests made at this year’s Hangout Music Festival as a perfect example of his office’s workload. “For some circuits that are a full year worth of work. For us, it’s a long weekend.”
Still, Wilters knows what happened with Alec Dvorak, should never happen again. “You are going to have mistakes. We have to limit the amount of those mistakes.”
Dvorak will be transferred to the Department of Corrections Thursday morning where he will serve a year for stealing lawn equipment.
A grand jury will review the fatal wreck once the investigation is complete.