Woman Charged in UNF Student Hit and Run Death

This was a very sad story to report last September. A University of North Florida student from Egypt, working on his MBA, Yasser Ibrahim Hamdy, 23, was riding a scooter with his two roommates when he was hit by a car, flung from the scooter, and hit by a second car. A News4Jax report states that he died at the scene. Hamdy had just received the scooter as an incentive for signing a lease on a Jacksonville apartment near UNF and he had no experience riding one. He also was not wearing a helmet.

Police have been looking for the initial Florida hit-and-run driver for some time. Now she has been arrested. Brittany Nicole Briscoe, 20, has been charged with leaving the scene of a Florida accident involving death and speeding. She is also charged with driving with a suspended license and causing serious injury. Both charges are felonies. How did police track her down? Briscoe, of Atlantic Beach, was actually tracked to her father’s home in Orlando.

There they found the 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse allegedly involved in the accident which occurred at 2:15 a.m. on Beach Boulevard. Tips came in that led investigators to Briscoe. The second car that hit Hamdy was located a few hours after the accident. The driver, Alex Ward Jr. 22 of Mayport Naval Station didn’t know what he had run over. He has not been charged. Briscoe has been booked into the Duval County jail where she is held on $75,000 bail.

Florida Hit-and-Run Accident Statistics
For some unknown reason, the number of hit-and-run cases is increasing in the state. Duval County follows only Miami-Dade and Broward Counties as having the third most FL hit-and-run crashes in 2008, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

In Jacksonville, there were more than 2,000 hit-and-runs 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. Leaving the scene of an accident automatically becomes a felony if there is a fatality that can bring the runner up to 30 years in prison. If there are no injuries, it is a misdemeanor to leave the scene and a felony if there are injuries.

Hit-And-Run Liability in Florida
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. A driver should never leave the scene of an accident. Period.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a hit-and-run driver you would be well advised to contact an experienced Jacksonville injury attorney with experience in auto accidents to help you navigate through the investigation that must be conducted in order to help you receive what you deserve to get you back on your feet.