A moment's decision to drink and drive can have tragic repercussions on innocent lives. One young Florida man has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal car accident and driving without a valid driver's license. Authorities allege that the man fatally struck a 51-year-old pedestrian before heading to a convenience store to purchase an alcoholic beverage.
Police apparently pulled the 21-year-old man over after his visit to the convenience store, which was reportedly caught on video surveillance, thanks to a witness calling to report the car accident. Deputies allegedly detected the odor of alcohol when they stopped the young man. They also claimed to find evidence linking the man to the fatal accident under his vehicle.
Video surveillance of the man obtained from the convenience store purportedly shows him surveying the front of his vehicle before purchasing alcohol from the store. He allegedly checked his vehicle's condition again before getting back into the car and leaving the store. The video evidence may be pivotal in any criminal trial or other legal proceedings brought against the man.
The surviving family of the pedestrian who was killed in this car accident is likely struggling to come to terms with this sudden and seemingly senseless tragedy. As the family members follow the police investigation and related criminal proceedings, they may wish to assess their rights under Florida law to pursue a claim for wrongful death. Such an action in our state is appropriate when evidence exists that a fatality occurred through the wrongful or intentional conduct of another.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Hit and run arrest: Deputies say man struck and killed pedestrian, left scene to buy alcohol," Amy Pavuk, July 25, 2012