The city commissioner of Longwood, Florida, was involved in a crash the evening of Nov. 10 that left him in critical condition and his passenger in serious condition. Although he has not been charged with any traffic violations yet, law enforcement believes he was under the influence of alcohol.
According to witnesses, the driver ran a red light while speeding in his Ford Mustang. His car hit a median and flipped over on Ronald Reagan Boulevard near North Street. Results of toxicology tests have not yet been reported.
The city commissioner, who owns a tile and marble company, served as the mayor for Longwood for two terms. He has been involved in Seminole County politics for over two decades. He was thrown from the car and suffered head injuries. His passenger, who was described as a "female family friend," was trapped in the vehicle. According to the local Fox affiliate in Orlando, the passenger was wearing a seatbelt. Both occupants of the vehicle were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. They are both in their early 60s.
The family of the city commissioner has said little publicly about the crash beyond asking for prayers and for privacy for the family.
The car was reported to police by other drivers who saw him driving recklessly. However, according to the police department, their officers did not act because it is against department policy to respond to such reports.
Why the police are not allowed to respond to such reports is unclear. It seems that this would prevent auto accidents, injuries and worse. A reckless driver, whether under the influence or not, can hurt or kill him/herself and others. Although people who are injured as the result of another driver's actions can and should pursue litigation against the at-fault driver, the best case scenario is to prevent the accident in the first place.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Longwood cops: Speed, alcohol 'contributing factors' in city commissioner's crash" Arelis R. Hern?ndez and Marni Jameson, Nov. 11, 2013