A tragic Florida pedestrian accident occurred Sunday afternoon when an unlicensed teenager got behind the wheel of the car.
The 16-year-old was asked by his family to move the family car after a church service at the Summerville Baptist Church near downtown.
The teen accidentally struck his three-year-old nephew when he rolled backward onto the sidewalk. He hit the child and then hit a fence. It turns out the driver’s seat latch broke, putting the seat in the reclined position, causing the teen to lose control of the car. The toddler was taken to Shands Jacksonville with life-threatening injuries.
We wish the family the best and hope the baby makes a full recovery.
This story is reminiscent of another unlicensed teen auto accident two years ago in St. Petersburg. A 42-year old mother let her unlicensed 15-year-old boy have the keys to drive his friends home. The Florida Highway Patrol determined the unlicensed teen was going 70 mph in a 40 mph zone. During his joy ride, he was involved in a crash trying to overtake another car. A 14-year-old cheerleader was killed.
That was not the end of the story. The mother was arrested and charged with manslaughter for allowing her unlicensed son to drive. Three lives ruined over one careless act.
Young drivers mimic their parent’s behavior behind the wheel. It is crucial as parents to remember this when your children or other young adults sit passively in the back seat. Take the opportunity to show them you obey the rules of the road and common courtesy. Don’t use the car to express your frustration. Point out the potential hazards of the road. Explain what could happen, such as a car accident, and what actions a responsible driver should take.
They are a captive audience in the back seat, so take advantage of it.
Unfortunately a seat latch can break on anyone; however, this teen did not react correctly and was not licensed, which is illegal in the state of Florida. Charges have not been filed yet, while an investigation is ongoing.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or death due to a car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney. At Farah and Farah, one of our skilled Florida auto accident lawyers can help build your case. Call for a free consultation at 1-800-533-3555.