A 16-year-old high school girl was killed early Monday morning on July 27, 2009 when a pickup truck in which she was riding along with six others, over corrected, then struck a curb and overturned, according to an article. The teen, a student at Lee High School, was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. We are so sorry for the loss of this young person. Our hearts go out to her family at this tragic time.
We now know that there were six people in all were in the small pickup truck, three in the cab and three in the bed. All three in the bed were thrown out when the vehicle appeared to be traveling too fast around a curve in Bartram Park Boulevard, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Another passenger from the cab is also reported to be in critical condition with a broken neck, vertebra, and broken ribs. Altogether, four others were injured. The car crash in Jacksonville happened around 4 a.m. according to JSO. Alcohol use was involved, according to law enforcement.
Investigators have determined the teens were at a birthday party that wrapped up early Monday morning. When the party was over, the three jumped into the truck bed for the ride home.
The driver is now identified as a 19-year-old whose birthday everyone had just celebrated.
Florida law restricts riding in the bed of a truck unless the person is over the age of 18 and restrained. Some vehicles actually have secure seating and seat belts in the bed of a truck to prevent someone from being thrown out, but that was not the case here.
For riders 18 and older, there is no restriction on the number of people who can ride in a truck bed or whether animals are allowed in the back of pickup trucks. However, occupants are not allowed to hang out of the vehicles.
Obviously it is dangerous to ride in the back of an open truck, which was originally designed to transport materials. In 2008, eight people were killed in a similar situation, while riding in the back of a truck in Florida. Putting pets in the back of vehicles makes no sense at all, especially if you care about them. The state law needs to address this obvious danger.
Expect charges to be filed in this case, which could include vehicular manslaughter, which carries a prison term of up to 15 years. The family may want to consult with an experienced Jacksonville drunk driving accident attorney about the civil remedies they can pursue against this young man who appears to be liable for a wrongful death. We wish the other injured young woman a speedy recovery. For more information, call the attorneys at the Jacksonville personal injury law firm Farah & Farah today.