An 18-year-old, who was driving a pickup truck that rolled and killed a passenger last January, has been charged with DUI manslaughter, according to a story. The 18-year-old male of Bryceville was driving eastbound on Roy Booth Road, just south of Callahan, when his truck veered off the road at a curve, then traveled through a ditch, back across the roadway and then overturned. A 20-year-old male passenger of Callahan was killed.
We offer our sincere condolences to the family of this young man who left this world at such a young age. The Florida Highway Patrol investigated and determined that the 18-year old was the driver. Initially there were some claims he wasn’t, and that alcohol was involved. DUI manslaughter charges will be added to vehicular manslaughter, driving with a suspended license, and failure to wear a seat belt. The 18-year-old in this Florida drunk driving accident faces fifteen years in prison for one night of carelessness in his criminal case.
In a civil case, a personal injury attorney will need to be involved to ensure the defendant is not allowed to deny that DUI was a factor in any wrongful death lawsuit to follow. Determining the driver was drunk establishes that they were driving recklessly and could open the door to punitive damages against the drunk driving teen.
In this particular case, it is not clear why the decedent was ejected from the pickup truck. Family members may want to determine whether he was wearing a seat belt and whether the restraint system worked as it is supposed to. Generally, the assumption is that the passenger was not wearing a seat belt, when the truth may be that the product, the seat belt, was defective in some way. In that case, the family may have a Florida auto product liability action against the vehicle manufacturer or the maker of the seat belt.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each year, there are about 40,000 fatal car accidents in the United States with about of quarter of them resulting from rollovers.
Again, our condolences go out to the family as they have some legal issues to deal with before they can reach closure.
At Farah and Farah, our dedicated and experienced Jacksonville auto accident lawyers have the skills and resources to aid your family in filing a wrongful death or personal injury claim against a negligent driver, whether the driver was under the influence or sober. Contact our firm today for a free evaluation.