TAMPA — Two passengers on a moped were killed and its driver was seriously injured late Sunday after a motorist with a suspended license slammed into the back of the bike and then fled, according to state troopers and records. The three moped riders were not wearing helmets.
Late Sunday, a driver with a suspended license slammed her vehicle into a moped causing fatal injuries two two teenagers. Cameron Maddox, 19, was carrying two friends on the back of his moped while commuting northbound on Dale Mabry highway. As the trio approached the intersection of Busch Boulevard, a 2010 Hyundai Accent came from behind and struck the three moped riders.
The driver of the car, 23 year old Amanda Angelica Diaz, claims that she had not seen the moped. Law enforcement received a tip which was immediately followed up on. Diaz was found in her home and taken back to the crash scene, reports Florida Highway Patrol. Currently, she has not been charged with any crimes regarding the fatal crash.
Not surprisingly, the three people on the bike were thrown onto the road. One moped rider, a young woman, fell into an adjacent lane and was subsequently run over by a Kia Optima that had been traveling alongside Diaz’s Hyundai Accent. The woman, whom authorities have not yet identified, died at the scene of the hit and run. The driver of the Optima, Martin Santiago, 40, of Tampa, was not injured.
The second rider, 16 year old Michael Garcia of Tampa, was rushed with Cameron Maddox to St. Joseph’s Hospital for treatment. As of Monday, Maddox remained hospitalized with very serious injuries, report authorities. Sixteen year old Michael Garcia was pronounced dead at St. Josephs. His older brother, Edward, said “he was just kind of being a teenager”.
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Michael was attending the adult education program at Leto High School. He was working hard to acquire his GED certificate. After finishing high school, he wanted to pursue music. Michael wrote rap songs and practiced every day to perfect the art. He had even produced his own hip-hop records, which he fondly shared with his brother.
“He was a talented kid. He was a rising star,” Michael’s big brother said. “He was trying to grow up. Maybe a little too fast, I would say.”
The Garcia brothers lived in Northdale with their parents. When his younger brother needed a ride, Edward would give him one. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t present when he needed a ride last night,” he said Monday.He didn’t know the people his brother was riding with when he died.
Maddox did not have a motorcycle endorsement, but that may not have been required if the moped engine was under 50 cc, Gaskins said. It was unclear if that was the case Monday. Florida law says passengers on motorcycles or mopeds must not exceed the seating capacity, and most are designed to carry the operator and one passenger.
After the crash, Diaz fled the scene, troopers said. Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies later tracked her down at her home and took her to the scene. She was not injured. Investigators report that they do not believe alcohol was a factor, but Diaz’s driving record contains several infractions. The impact caused an estimated $7,000 damage to the car and $7,500 damage to the moped.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, two crashes last year involving Diaz were investigated by law enforcement. She has received citations for careless driving and “driving too fast for conditions,” as well as two speeding tickets.
Her license was suspended in September because she failed to get auto liability insurance. Diaz has a single prior arrest in Florida, from 2009, on charges of larceny and burglary of an occupied dwelling, state records show. She pleaded guilty to the burglary charge and was sentenced to probation.
Charges, including leaving the scene of an accident, “may be filed at the conclusion of the investigation following the collection of all evidentiary material,” said highway patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins, “as is customary.”
These lives cut drastically short serve as yet another tragic reminder of the dangers of distracted drivers and the importance of safety and caution on the roadways. If you or a loved one has been injured, whether as a pedestrian, driver, or rider: get the help you need by giving the experienced attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA a call today: 727 451-6900.