MIAMI BEACH, Florida (Reuters) - New York alcohol entrepreneur Malcolm Lloyd, founder of the Double Cross vodka brand, was killed early Thursday morning in a high speed car crash near Miami Beach, police said.
Lloyd, 42, was a passenger in a Lamborghini that police say was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour at 2.50 a.m. local time when it hit a Chevrolet Suburban SUV that was stopped at a red light, according to Miami Beach police.
Known by some in the industry as “Doctor Vodka” after he switched from a medical career to the spirits industry, Lloyd was honored by Goldman Sachs in 2012 as one of the top 100 innovative entrepreneurs in the country.
The drivers of both cars were hospitalized in critical but stable condition. The driver of the sports car was named as Miami resident, Andres Esteban Toro, 53, who faces “pending criminal charges” said Miami Beach Police spokeswoman Vivian Thayer.
The crash closed both lanes of the causeway that connects Miami to the popular tourist destination, South Beach, snarling traffic for more than 10 hours as police cleared debris and investigated the accident.
Miami Beach police said they could not confirm a report in The Miami Herald that Lloyd and Toro were returning home after a night at the Versace Mansion, a luxury hotel that was once the home of the late designer Gianni Versace who was shot and killed on its front steps in 1997.
Lloyd received a degree in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins and a medical doctorate from Dartmouth Medical School, before joining his godfather in the spirits business and founding the company Old Nassau Imports.
The company issued a statement saying “All of us at Old Nassau Imports are heartbroken over the loss our friend and leader,” and requested privacy for his family and colleagues.
Lloyd told Haute Living in 2011 that Double Cross was inspired by “an incredible master distiller” in the Terra Mountains of Slovakia. The company modeled its label on that country’s coat of arms.
The company’s slogan on its Facebook page is “Live adventurously. Drink responsibly.”
Writing by David Adams; Editing by Chris Reese