Fort Myers Fatality Shines Spotlight on Florida Hit-and-Run Accidents
A fatal accident in Fort Myers recently brought the issue of hit-and-run fatalities into the Florida news yet again. The accident involved a motorist who killed a mother of eight and then fled the scene of the accident on foot. Thankfully, police were able to catch the individual responsible, and he is now facing criminal charges that will carry with them a minimum of four years in prison if he is convicted. Despite efforts by both law enforcement and the Florida Legislature, the Sunshine State has one of the highest rates of hit-and-run accidents of any state in the country. This is unfortunate news for anyone who drives on the roads of the Sunshine State.
The Fatal Fort Myers Accident
According to a report from the Fort Myers News-Press regarding the crash, the accident involved multiple vehicles and shut down US 41, a major thoroughfare in Fort Myers, in both directions. The driver fled the scene on foot shortly after the accident occurred according to police. A person, who was later identified as a 30-year-old local resident, was arrested after a search involving police officers, sheriff’s deputies and even a police helicopter. A later article regarding the crash from Wink News reported that the crash victim was a 41-year-old mother of eight. The suspect has been charged with fleeing the scene of an accident involving a fatality, which carries with it a minimum sentence of four years and up to 30 years in prison if the man is convicted.
Florida Hit-and-Run Accidents: A Serious Problem
Despite a public education campaign by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles called “Stay at The Scene” that seeks to educate Florida motorists as to the penalties associated with leaving the scene of an accident, the rate of hit-and-run accidents in Florida has stayed roughly consistent at 25 percent of all accidents throughout much of the past several decades. Florida statistics over the past three years show that thousands of hit-and-run accidents occur in the Sunshine State every year, resulting in hundreds of fatalities. According to several recent studies, Florida, along with Louisiana, is consistently among the states with the largest proportion of accident involving hit-and-run drivers. This is despite the fact that the Florida Legislature took steps in 2014 to substantially increase the penalties for causing a hit- and-run crash in Florida, to the point where if someone flees the scene of an accident involving injuries or a fatality, the person could be facing a years in prison, mandatory revocation of the individual’s driver’s license for years and other penalties. Florida has a real problem with hit- and-run accidents on its roads, despite aggressive actions by law enforcement and the Florida Legislature to crack down on the issue through enhanced penalties for hit-and-run drivers and increased outreach to the public.
Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys of Schwed, Adams & McGinley
Although fleeing the scene of an accident is a criminal offense in Florida, drivers nevertheless often will panic and flee if they hit a pedestrian or another driver. This is particularly true if the driver that causes an accident causes injuries or property damages to another person or their vehicle or hits and kills someone else. The personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley have more than 150 years of combined legal experience representing victims who have been injured in a variety of motor vehicle, truck and pedestrian accidents, including hit-and-run accidents where the driver at fault fled the scene. If you or a loved one was a pedestrian or motorist injured by someone who then fled the scene of an accident in Florida, please call us today for a free consultation at (877) 694-6079 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.