Orange County authorities believe a 32-year-old mother may have been intoxicated when she ran off of an Orange County road on Saturday, April 23, and hit a tree in a fatal accident that took the life of a 14-year-old girl riding in her vehicle.
The Orlando Sentinel reports the woman was behind the wheel of a 1998 Toyota sedan and was traveling southbound on Overland Road in Apopka and may have been driving without a license with her four children in the car. Authorities say around 5 p.m. she lost control of the vehicle and went into a ditch, causing the Toyota to roll and then strike a tree. The 14-year-old, who is not referred to as the woman’s daughter in the story, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Three other children ages 10, 11, and 16 were taken to the hospital with minor injuries and released into state custody. The FHP says the mother was suspected of driving while intoxicated and under the influence of drugs. A blood test should confirm that suspicion. She was taken to Florida Hospital with serious injuries and is expected to be charged.
Our condolences are expressed to the friends and family of this young teen who lost her life so suddenly. Her family is in our prayers.
Florida now has a primary seat belt law that requires everyone in the front seat and all those under the age of 18 in the back seat to be securely strapped into the vehicle with a seat belt or child restraint system. There is a reason – a seat belt is the single most effective safety device in your car. When the seat belt law was enacted in June 2009, it was estimated that just buckling up would save more than 124 lives and prevent 1,733 serious injuries as well as save more than $400 million in related costs every year.
Research shows that properly worn lap/shoulder belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent.
The Florida auto accident attorneys at Farah & Farah are also experienced in the rare cases when a defective seat belt fails causing injury and death. Car accidents can be very complex and that’s why we offer a complimentary consultation to get you started on considering your options following a collision.