Florida fatal truck accident caused by driver with 27 violations

So much alcohol, 30,000 pounds to be exact, was spilled on the highway after an accident that officials feared the road would catch fire. The threat of fire from the spilled alcoholic beverages was enough to close the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 in Florida for more than seven hours as cleanup crews waited for the alcohol to evaporate. The situation could be found humorous if the truck accident did not involve the death of the unfortunate motorist who was allegedly forced off the bridge by a semi truck and into the five-foot deep waters of the Alafia River.

The truck caught the bumper of the victim’s BMW as the truck driver tried to pass. This led to a chain reaction with the semi truck turning over, spilling its cargo of alcohol onto the roadway and sending the victim, a 42-year-old man, to his death in the shallow water below the Alafia River bridge. The truck driver was treated for minor injuries at Tampa General Hospital and released. No charges have been filed at this time.

The investigation into the truck accident is ongoing and has so far revealed that the truck driver has had 27 infractions in the last two decades on his driving record, including the suspension of his license six times. According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, past driving records are not taken into account when issuing a commercial license. The applicant needs only to have a valid license at the time of application and pass a written and vehicle skills test.

There are no laws in Florida preventing a person with a prior terrible driving record from receiving a commercial driver’s license. However, if, after the truck accident investigation is complete, the driver is found to be at fault, the family of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A successfully litigated lawsuit may provide the family with monetary compensation and possible peace of mind.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, Truck driver in fatal Alafia River wreck has dozens of driving infractions, Colleen Wright and Claire Wiseman, Feb. 12, 2014

Tags: Florida

4 USF students killed in tragic Florida motor vehicle accident

An SUV, which was driving the wrong way on Interstate 275, recently caused a catastrophic and fatal car accident. The SUV smashed head-on into another motor vehicle on a recent Sunday. Five people were killed, four of whom were University of South Florida fraternity brothers.

The incident occurred at approximately 2 a.m. The driver of the SUV was killed in the fiery collision. Due to the fire, the SUV driver was not immediately identified. However, the four fraternity brothers in the other vehicle were identified as members of Sigma Beta Rho. The president of the University of South Florida said that counseling services were made available to those struggling with the loss of their fellow students.

The president stated that simple words cannot express the level of sadness and shock experienced by those who knew the young men. She described them as energetic, bright and optimistic– all with promising futures in front of them. The fraternity that they belonged to will be holding a memorial service in their memory.

As to how such a deeply saddening event could have occurred is unknown at this time, and authorities continue to investigate the motor vehicle accident. Whatever the underlying reasons, it appears that the SUV driver entered the Interstate and traveled in the wrong direction. In cases where a Floridian is killed in an accident caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, surviving family members can seek restitution through a civil lawsuit. While there is no level of financial restitution that could ever bring justice to the instant situation, pursuing a wrongful death action can be a way for family members to ultimately gain some sense of closure. A successful litigation can also help them achieve financial assistance to pay for funeral and burial costs, along, with other monetary damages recognized by Florida laws.

Source: ABC News, 5 Killed in Wrong Way Crash in Southwest Florida, No author, Feb. 10, 2014

Tags: Florida, wrongful death

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