A tragic accident occurred one year ago and led to the death of a 54-year-old St. Augustine social worker. Now, a 20-year-old Gainesville man, charged with DUI manslaughter, is set to go on trial May 16, just days before his 21st birthday. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) responded to the accident on March 12, 2010. Daniel Doyle Rocca, 19, was southbound on U.S. 1 near Estrella Avenue around noon and reportedly had a blood alcohol level of .212, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent for an adult driver when he allegedly slammed into the side of the woman’s Lexus, forcing it over a concrete median and into oncoming traffic where her vehicle was T-boned by another vehicle driven by a 66-year-old retired Duval County school board employee. The Lexus driver died at the scene. The other woman had to be extracted from her vehicle by the Jaws of Life and was in a coma for 10 days. She lost one leg below the knee, has had 15 surgeries, and spent months in rehabilitation. Rocca, who was driving a Pontiac Vibe, and his 22-year-old passenger received minor injuries.
Our condolences go out to all of the friends and family of these two accident victims.
The young man was 19 at the time of the collision and still considered a minor under the legal drinking age of 21. A DUI manslaughter conviction can bring a driver up to 15 years in prison.
The Florida car accident lawyers at the Farah & Farah law firm reminds drivers that the only thing worse than causing an auto accident is to leave the scene, especially when there are injuries or a fatality. Call our offices immediately following an accident at 1-800-533-3555 so we can begin to advocate for you in your time of need.