Beginning in March, those of us who live in the Miami area and throughout Florida face an influx of spring breakers and other tourists drawn here by the sun and our many attractions. People driving in an unfamiliar state, often in a rented vehicle, can pose particular dangers on our roads and cause an increase in auto accidents. Sadly, a collision between some out-of-state senior citizens and a Florida couple ended in tragedy on March 16.
The Lehigh Acres woman was killed and her husband was critically injured when their motorcycle collided with a Ford van driven by an 80-year-old Ohio man. The impact of the crash threw both of them from the motorcycle. The fatal accident occurred shortly before noon at the intersection of Lake Mirror Drive and U.S. 27. Reportedly,.
the couple on the motorcycle, both 49 years old, were wearing helmets. Sadly, that was not enough to save the woman.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the couple was traveling south on U.S. 27 when the driver of the van failed to yield and attempted to go across the southbound lanes of the road. The motorcycle, which the husband was driving, crashed into the side of the van. The van reportedly continued across the northbound lanes of U.S. 27 and eventually stopped on Josephine Avenue.
According to the FHP, the occupants of the van were uninjured. In addition to the driver, there were three passengers, all in their 60s and 70s.
According to "The Newark Advocate," the FHP said that the motorcycle had the right of way at the Highlands County intersection. That paper also reported that the four people in the van, all Ohio residents, had been returning from a visit to Orlando when the crash occurred.
It was not reported what, if any, charges the driver of the van is facing. Regardless of any criminal charges or penalties he faces, however, the victim's husband and family have a right to seek civil damages from him. Costs like medical care and burial are easily quantifiable. Under the law, however, victims and their families can also seek damages for things like lost wages, pain and suffering, and injuries, both physical and emotional, which can last a lifetime.
Source: Kitsap Sun, "Sidney man driver in fatal crash in Florida" No author given, Mar. 18, 2014