Central Florida High School Student Killed Crossing the Street after School

October 19, 2016 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Central Florida High School Student Killed Crossing the Street after School

A student from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach was killed today, Monday, October 17, 2016, while crossing the street at the intersection of Nova Road and West International Speedway Boulevard. This is according to Volusia County school officials.

Stephanie Boebert, 19, was walking to school after missing her bus. She was heading west on International Speedway Boulevard after crossing Nova Road.

The accident happened just after 8 AM, officials said.

A spokesperson for the school system said that she must have been running late for school—which begins at 7:30 AM—after missing the bus.

The motorist who hit the student was named as Paul Dborak. He was driving east on the road known to locals as ISB—the main vein of Daytona where one can find the mall, the Speedway, and a dead end into the World's Most Famous beach. Police said Dborak then turned right onto Nova and struck Boebert who died at the scene.

Stephanie was a special needs student who attends the high school past her graduation date in order to gain life and employability skills. What role this detail plays in the incident is not yet known.

She was 19 years old.

No charges have been filed and it is not clear who violated the right of way. But Police say the investigation is ongoing. What is clear is that a little girl lost her life over something that could have been avoided.

Mainland High School's principal was quoted by the Daytona Beach News-Journal as saying: "We are deeply saddened to lose this very special Buccaneer—to say that our hearts are broken could only begin to describe the emptiness we now face each day without Stephanie."

Grief counselors are at the school to help Boebert's classmates cope with the tragedy.

Claire Metz of WESH 2 news tweeted this image of the girl today, boasting of her accomplishments.

Students Hit by Cars

Young people, children, and students alike are being hit by cars in high numbers. All figures included, 12 pedestrians are killed by motor vehicles every single day. Every 8 minutes, someone is injured by a motor vehicle.

Is walking a more dangerous mode of travel?

There is no clear data to answer this question because of the lack of collectible information on hours walked, miles walked, or intersections crossed (thus how long someone is exposed to traffic), but more pedestrians than drivers are killed in relation to the ratio of walkers to drivers.

However, it should be kept in mind that walking is a healthy way to get around. If it is more dangerous, it is only by a little. No person, including a girl walking to school, should be scared that they could lose their life by doing so. Instead, our youth should be encouraged to get out and walk more, not less. However, these large statistics cannot just be taken as a given. Instead, we must look at why people are being hit by cars and what can be done about it.

Pedestrian Statistics

  • 70 percent of pedestrian killed in 2014 were males.
  • Almost three out of every four pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas (73 percent).
  • More than a quarter (26 percent) of all pedestrian fatalities occurred between 6 and 8:59 p.m.
  • 47 is the average age of pedestrians killed in 2014, and 37 is the average age of those injured in 2014.
  • 34 percent of pedestrians killed had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 g/dL or higher.
  • 14 percent of drivers in a pedestrian crash had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 g/dL or higher.
  • California (697), Florida (588), and Texas (476) lead the nation in total pedestrian fatalities (provided by pedbikeinfo.org).
The final statistic offers a glimpse into why we, as Floridians, should care about this problem. If you notice, the top three states for pedestrian fatalities are also some of the most populated. So it makes sense that we would top the chart, but that doesn't mean we can do anything about it.

In 2013, one in every five children under the age of 14 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians or bicyclists. This means that for every 5 children killed by cars, four were in the car and one was a pedestrian. This is scary information for parents, grandparents, and family members alike.

The Role of Distracted Driving

Electronic devices have become a bigger part of our daily lives. There is no doubt about it. But what role do phones play in distracted driving and pedestrians?

According to a recent study, the number of pedestrians killed by distracted drivers has risen significantly in the past several years—up 50 percent.

Vehicle deaths themselves have decreased in the United States, but the number of pedestrian and bicyclist killed because of distracted driving has actually been increasing.

“We're constantly exposed to distracted drivers,” Fernando Wilson, the author of the study said in a news release published by Medical Daily.

“I don't think there's a day that I don't see someone driving and using their cell phone. A lot of times they're texting. It's something that's pervasive in society. That's one of the reasons it's so difficult to deal with.”

Currently, 41 states, D.C., Guam, and the US Virgin Islands have banned texting and driving. Twelve states ban drivers from using hand-held cell phones in any capacity (as opposed to a Bluetooth speaker phone or some equivalent).

Florida does not currently have a ban on cellphone use. We do however have a ban on texting, but it is only a secondary offense. This means an officer cannot pull someone over for only texting. They would instead have to have a primary reason to stop the person, like speeding, then ticket them for texting. Those of you who have been in Florida a while will remember that Florida's seatbelt laws used to be the same way.

It would not be crazy to think that we could ban texting and driving and hand-held cellphone use in every state. It just makes sense.

Not wearing a seatbelt is considered taboo these days, especially for children and people with children. The reason for this is because of the laws. As something becomes more and more the norm, people start to view it that way.

This must be how we treat texting and driving. The same way we treated drunk driving, seatbelts, and children in the back of pickup trucks. We must shun the acceptance of the idea.

Although Stephanie Boebert's death is not known to be caused by distracted driving, it is a very real possibility. After all, someone wasn't paying attention, and that's the reason a family is grieving the loss of their little girl tonight.

Check out this article for more information on wrongful death cases involving children.

Click here to read about ten common misconceptions regarding personal injury cases.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is a law firm in Clearwater, Florida who represents those injured by others' negligence. If you have been injured in a car, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident, or by some other means, please contact us today for a free consultation.

We aim to treat each client like they should be treated, with respect and accessibility to their attorney. In that effort, we provide every client with their attorney's personal cell phone number. If you have any questions, call us today at (727) 451-6900.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

(727) 451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More