The Orange County Medical Examiner facility released UCF student Chloe Arenas’ autopsy report on Friday, confirming that Arenas drowned due to a blunt impact trauma to the head and neck when she crashed into a retention pond near UCF on June 28.
The autopsy was performed by Associate Medical Examiner Sara Zydowicz on June 29, and the report states that "the manner of death is classified as accident."
The toxicology report concludes the evidence of injury to be "blunt impact wounds, external and internal."
"In consideration of the circumstances surrounding the death, and after examination of the body, it is my opinion that the death of Chloe Arenas, a 21-year-old woman, is the result of drowning," Zydowicz wrote in the report.
Although the autopsy report has recently become available, Arenas’ friend Clarissa Lindsey said she is not ready to review the descriptive details of her close friend’s death.
“Since the beginning, we have been confident that Chloe’s accident was not alcohol related. For anyone who had prior doubts, we hope this changes your mind and encourages you to sign the petition and purchase a Chloe’s Law shirt,” said Lindsey on behalf of the Arenas family.
Lindsey took to change.org to create a petition to the Florida State Senate, Florida Governor and Florida State House to “take preventative measures to decrease the amount of victims who drown in submerged vehicles, specifically Florida,” as stated on the page.
“We have been working tirelessly to continue advocating for Chloe’s Law,” Lindsey said. “Sen. Darren Soto has committed to sponsoring the law in the Senate, and we are still working to go forth with the same process with the House of Representatives.”
With a goal of 75,000 shares, the petition currently has 55,285 shares in support of Chloe’s Law.
Arenas’ sister Lauren Walker created a page on booster.com to promote Chloe’s Law by raising money and awareness. Supporters are encouraged to purchase T-shirts for $20, which are gray with yellow writing that reads “protect drivers from drowning” on the front, and “#ChloesLaw” with an elephant on the back.
All funds raised will be paid directly to Lindsey to fundraise for specific guardrail sites, travel funds for full-time Chloe’s Law advocates and scholarships in Arenas’ name.
Walker is also planning a 5K to benefit the Chloe Nicole Arenas Foundation and help fund legislation. Lindsey said more information will be provided when the date is confirmed.
Rachel Stuart is the News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSage or email her at RachelS@CentralFloridaFuture.com.