The self-crowned “Party Princess” of Miami Beach, Karlie Tomica, was seemingly an innocent 20-year-old college student and a hard working bartender when her pictures, posts and videos went viral on Twitter and Facebook last year. People around the country followed the swanky beach club stories of rich and famous along Collins Avenue, an iconic strip in Miami Beach filled with top restaurants and bars.
A Tragic Turn of Events
Tomica began to take her Twitter crown too literally when she left her job January 28 with a blood alcohol limit three times over the legal limit. She got into her car, sped down the boulevard and and killed a well-known chef as he was walking to work.
Stefano Riccioletti, 49, worked as the executive chef at the upscale Terraza at Shore Club. Tomica was initially charged with leaving the scene of an accident, but those charges were upgraded this week to DUI. If convicted, the rising star could face up to 30 years in prison.
According to police reports, she was leaving her bartending job at Nikki Beach nightclub when the accident occurred. A witness followed her more than 40 blocks to her condo where police arrived to arrest her. Riccioletti’s family has also filed a lawsuit against her and Nikki Beach, saying the club allowed her to leave her job intoxicated and is also responsible for his death. Tamica’s attorney, the famous Mark Shapiro, says his young client made a tragic mistake. Jose Baez, is representing the family and says that Nikki Club encourages their servers to drink with customers in order to sell more drinks.
Tamica once posted on Twitter that she was “living the dream,” but was quiet as she posted a $10,000 bail on Jan. 29. Her online social network accounts have been deleted. The young star personality was ordered to attend Alcohol Anonymous when she bonded out of jail and was also fitted with an ankle monitor and remains under house arrest awaiting trial.
Alcohol Abuse: Get Help Before its too Late.
With such an obvious dependency on alcohol, friends and relatives of Tamica say rehabilitation could have been an option for the young woman and might have prevented the tragic accident. They say it is unclear whether she realized prior to the accident that she had an alcohol abuse problem and the dependency spiraled out of control before they knew it.