Accident investigators are revising their routine traffic report to a homicide investigation after a woman died from her injuries after being hit by a man who was texting on his cell phone and on prescription medication.
The wreck occurred in Brevard County on Tuesday, April 19. The woman was stopped in her PT Cruiser at a red light on U.S 192 when a 27-year-old man, driving a Ford F-150, reportedly slammed into the back of the car. The PT Cruiser then slammed into the back of four other cars. The driver, a 53-year-old mother of two, suffered a collapsed lung but her injuries were not considered life-threatening until she died Friday, May 13. The Brevard County Medical Examiner has ruled her death is attributed to injuries she received in the Florida car accident.
The initial report says there was no attempt to stop and the driver was arrested on charges of DUI with injury or damage and careless driving. He posted a $5,000 bond. The 27-year-old driver now faces additional charges.
In conducting a homicide investigation the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) normally requires a blood sample from the suspect, but because the woman did not appear seriously injured troopers were prevented by law from forcibly drawing blood. According to the FHP report, the pickup driver admitted he was texting while driving and had taken prescription medication. One trooper witnessed the man was nodding off and was clearly “messed up” after the collision.
In all, seven people were hurt but without the blood test results, there is no way of knowing exactly how much medication the man was on at the time of the collision.
Our condolences are extended to the friends and family of the woman who died in this entirely preventable auto collision.
While the Florida Legislative session for 2011 again failed to enact any limitations on texting while driving, Farah & Farah’s Jacksonville car crash lawyers strongly encourage everyone to put away the cell phone while driving. Distracted driving-related crashes killed 5,475 lives in 2009, according to the Department of Transportation, and led to 448,000 traffic injuries.
It is reported that 16 percent of traffic fatalities in 2009 were the result of distracted driving. These are devastating auto accidents that are totally preventable if the driver takes seriously his or her responsibility to pay attention to the rules of the road. Unfortunately, many do not, resulting in serious injury or even fatal accidents. If you have been injured in a distracted driving-related crash in Florida, please call our law offices so we can get started on your case today.