Teen Driver Facing Vehicular Homicide Charges for 16-Year-Old’s Death

A 16-year-old female and a number of other teens had attended a birthday party for a fellow friend who was turning 19. The party lasted until the early morning hours of July 27.

For some reason, the teens decided to leave the party house. That’s when the 19-year-old got behind the wheel of his pickup truck to drive everyone home. Since there were six kids and only three seats in the cab, three of the teens decided to ride in the bed of the pickup.

But according to police, the 19-year-old was driving recklessly and too fast in the 13000 block of Bartram Park Boulevard in Mandarin, just south of Jacksonville and Old St. Augustine Road. Traveling at twice the 40 mph speed limit, the pickup flipped, and rolled several times, throwing the 16-year-old girl and two others riding in the bed out of the vehicle.

The 16-year-old, a student at Lee High School, was pronounced dead at the scene of the auto accident in Jacksonville. Four other teens were seriously injured. Law enforcement said the truck appeared to have rolled over her. Another young woman was in critical condition.

Now the young male driver has been charged with vehicular homicide. He turned himself into the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office on Wednesday and was later released on $10,000 bail.
This month, if the deceased teen were still alive, she would have turned 17. Her family said that they would still celebrate her birthday and that she is still in their hearts.

Our hearts go out to the family of this young woman as well as the injured teen who was in ICU. We wish her a speedy recovery.

According to Florida law, no matter what your age, the legal limit for intoxication is 0.08.
The state attorney’s office decided to press charges because the driver in this case was reported by police to have a blood alcohol level of .095, well above the 0.08 level considered intoxicated. And police report he was driving recklessly and speeding.

Another law was broken. Florida law forbids anyone under the age of 18 from riding in the bed of a pickup truck when operated on any state, county or municipal road.

All children under the age of 18 must wear a seatbelt in Florida, and there are none in a pickup bed. Until recently, adults could not be pulled over if they were not wearing their seat belt, unless they were pulled over for a different, primary offense. That has now changed and everyone must wear their seat belts or be ticketed.

Vehicular homicide charges are a second-degree felony. The driver in this case could spend 15-years in prison if convicted.

Ironically, he had just completed a driver improvement course after receiving a speeding ticket. No doubt that added to the decision to charge him. Clearly the classes did not deter him from speeding. It’s a tragedy all around.

If you have been injured in a car accident or if a loved one was killed because of another driver’s negligence or carelessness, the experienced Jacksonville auto accident lawyers at Farah and Farah can help. Contact our skilled personal injury law firm today for more information on how you can hold negligent parties responsible for your pain and suffering in addition to financial expenses associated with wrongful death or a serious personal injury. Call Farah and Farah today for a free consultation.

Source article: http://www.news4jax.com/news/20855276/detail.html