Surveillance Video Captures Fatal Crash

A fatal crash in Deerfield Beach was recently caught by a nearby restaurant’s surveillance cameras. The crash resulted in the death of one teenager and serious injuries to multiple other teenagers who were passengers in the car of the driver the police determined to be at fault in the accident. This surveillance footage likely will be key evidence at the criminal trial of the negligent driver. According to a report from Local 10 news, the video footage was so disturbing restaurant workers could not bring themselves to even watch the video again before turning it over to police investigating the crash. In addition to criminal proceedings against the driver alleged to be at fault in the accident, the civil cases that may be brought against the driver that caused the accident and his insurer by the injured teenagers as well as the estate of the teenager killed in the crash will be substantially aided by this evidence. In addition to how sad this accident was as a result of the fatality and injuries of teenagers, it further highlights how a driver may not know who, or what, is watching when he or she is out on the roads and is involved in an accident.

The Deerfield Beach Accident

The police investigation into this tragic accident determined that Sebastian Espinoza, 18, and Thais Haug, 19, were riding in a black Tesla with Espinoza behind the wheel and Haug in the passenger seat of the car that was hit.  As they made a left turn onto Country Club Boulevard from West Hillsboro Boulevard early on a recent morning in Deerfield Beach, a white BMW driven by Raphael Candido Vilela, 20, with three teenagers riding as passengers, smashed into them while speeding west on Hillsboro Boulevard. Vilela and the three teens in his car were taken to a hospital with major injuries, while Espinoza was treated and then released.  Authorities said Haug died from her injuries.

Florida’s Extremely High Rate of Hit-and-Run Accidents

Although the driver who appears to have been at fault in this tragic case involving a number of teenagers in the prime of their lives was not reported to have fled the scene of the accident, Florida still has among the highest rates of hit-and-run drivers in the country. Despite a number of educational and other measures taken by the state in previous years to reduce the number of hit-and-run incidents on Florida roads, including a public education campaign in recent years by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles called “Stay at The Scene,” the rate of hit-and-run accidents in Florida over the last thirty years has stayed consistent at 25 percent of all accidents. This is an astonishing figure given the sheer number of accidents that occur on Florida’s roads on a yearly basis.

Why Fleeing the Scene of an Accident Is Such a Bad Idea in Florida

You simply never know who, or what, might be watching if you are involved in an accident in Florida. In this instance, it was surveillance footage from a nearby restaurant’s cameras that captured the accident as it occurred. In other cases, it may be an eyewitness that you did not realize was in the vicinity or another driver that had a clear and unobstructed view of the entire accident. Therefore, if you have been involved in an accident, stay at the scene.  Doing otherwise is against Florida law and could land you in prison.

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 leave the scene, particularly if someone has been injured or killed in the accident or there was property damage as a result of the incident. This is especially true where, like in the recent Deerfield Beach accident, there were a number of teenagers involved in the accident. The personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley have over 150 years of combined legal experience representing those who have been injured in a variety of motor vehicle and truck accidents, including hit-and-run accidents where the driver at fault fled the scene of the accident. Therefore, if you or a loved one was injured or killed 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 contact@schwedlawfirm.com.