This hit-and-run crash is still a mystery and is being investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol. According to a www.tallahassee.com article, a 43-year-old woman from Quincy was driving with a passenger in her car at I-10 mile marker 230 in Jefferson County. That’s when another vehicle came up and struck the back of her Chevrolet Geo which threw the Geo into a tree on the north shoulder. The hit-and-run driver then kept on going. EMS workers arrived on the scene to free the woman who was taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, but there is no word on her passenger. The female motorist was wearing a seat belt. She is listed in serious condition.
We are so thankful that the driver was wearing her seat belt otherwise her injuries could be so much more severe. We are praying for her recovery and that of her passenger.
Florida Hit-and-Run Accident Stats
Although this accident did not happen in the Jacksonville area, it should be noted that Duval County, Jacksonville, follows only Miami-Dade and Broward Counties as having the third most hit-and-rum crashes in 2008, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
For some unknown reason the number of hit-and-run cases is increasing in the state. In Jacksonville there were more than 2,000 in 2007 and 2008. Compare that to 349 in 2006. Generally one can assume that the person who flees has something to hide. He or she might be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. They might be driving with a suspended license or no license at all. They could be in this country illegally or have an outstanding warrant for their arrest. Or they could just panic and run.
Florida law states that “the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash [. . .] that results in the death of any person must immediately stop the vehicle [. . .] and remain at the scene…” If a driver does not do this, as the driver of the Cadillac did, can be charged with a first degree felony (Fl Statutes Title XXII 316.027). The maximum sentence for a first degree felony is a $10,000 fine and as much as 30 years in prison.
In such cases, the families of victims would be well-advised to contact a reputable Jacksonville injury attorney who will keep in touch with the official investigation and make you’re your rights are preserved. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also be able to advise victims about how their car insurance policy applies to a hit-and-run crash or in a case where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.