Robert Lemon and Hilary Michalak were riding their tandem bicycle in the morning hours of September 2, 2013 when they were struck from behind by a motorist driving a pickup truck. The offending driver left the scene of the crash without rendering any care or aid to the cyclists and the couple was eventually discovered and transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.
Eventually, police received a tip that the driver of the truck was a Christopher Patrick Weed, a 29 year-old man. Mr. Weed would eventually turn himself in to authorities. Mr. Weed claimed to have “blacked out” after leaving his job working at a well-known Clearwater bar and beach resort, and stated that he did not recall any portion of his drive home from work. The reasons for Mr. Weed “blacking out” became apparent recently when surveillance footage from his job surfaced which shows Mr. Weed consuming multiple alcoholic beverages with his co-workers prior to closing the bar and leaving the restaurant. The footage also showed several of Mr. Weed’s coworkers consuming alcoholic beverages and shots. Mr. Weed’s employer’s attorney would not comment on the Mr. Weed’s criminal matter or any potential liability on the part of the resort for providing its employees with alcohol after hours and not preventing its employees’ over-consumption. This firm has blogged previously on the liability of an establishment for providing alcohol to patrons. The decedents’ estates are proceeding in a wrongful death action against both Mr. Weed and his employer.
Despite the best efforts of medical providers, Mr. Lemon passed away due to the injuries suffered in the crash, while Ms. Michalak was hospitalized for almost three weeks before succumbing to her injuries. Mr. Weed was charged in both victims’ deaths and eventually pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving death. Mr. Weed was sentenced to 11 years in state prison, to be followed by three years of probation.
Our firm has blogged at great length in the past about the dangers of drunk driving and the hit and runs and previous legislative failures in dealing with this problem. With the unique issues faced by Florida drivers, we must be constantly vigilant of watchful for intoxicated drivers. Additionally, the injuries suffered by bicyclists can be even more catastrophic than those suffered by people driving motor vehicles due to the lack of protection afforded by a bicycle.
Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
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If you or a loved one has been the unfortunate victim of a Drunk Driving Accident, it is well advised to contact a licensed Florida Attorney. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can provide zealous representation to victims of negligent acts, particularly when facing complex litigation. When there is a loss of life following a motor vehicle accident, competent and experienced attorneys should be called upon to advocate on behalf of decedent. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is available to provide free consultations to surviving family members. Call us at 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765