According to a story in The Orlando Sentinel, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) on Thursday, July 14th, arrested a repeat traffic offender for a crash last November that killed a 15-year-old walking to his school bus stop in Orange County. The teen and his brother were on Valencia College Lane in the eastern part of the county, when a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am swerved off the road and hit the teens. The driver took off and left the boys bleeding in a ditch. The 15-year-old was taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children but died after being taken off life support. His brother survived.
The 30-year-old man who left the scene of the Florida pedestrian accident was questioned nine hours later after the FHP put out an alert and a retired firefighter saw a badly damaged Grand Am in a Publix parking lot. Police questioned the driver when he left the store and took a blood sample but since so much time had elapsed no intoxicants were found in his blood. The man was arrested and booked into the Orange County jail, although WFTV does not say what the new evidence was that led to his arrest.
The article does say he had 22 prior traffic-related incidents including leaving the scene of an accident in 2008. He’ll be charged with leaving the scene of an accident again and failing to render aid (a violation of Florida Statute 316.192).
Reckless driving is the disregard for the safety of others usually by driving under the influence or speeding. A prosecutor does not have to prove that this driver intended to kill someone to obtain a conviction and put this habitual offender behind bars for as many as 30 years. Unfortunately, he was supposed to have an “interlock” device on his car that prevents a DUI convicted person from operating a motor vehicle, likely the result of his past violation.
We can all do our part to keep dangerous repeat offenders off the road. Farah & Farah is a member of the national program, Hit-and-Run Reward that rewards someone who turns in a hit-and-run driver by paying them $1,000 if the individual is convicted of the hit-and-run. Visit our web site to learn more and the number for Hit-and-Run Reward is 1-800-644-8678.