In 2015 alone, there were more than 92,000 hit and run crashes in the state, resulting in more than 19,000 injuries. This high number is also an indication that the problem needs to be dealt with according as the number of such crashes is up by nearly 7,500 from 2014. In addition, more than half of the 186 hit-and-run deaths involved pedestrians. Drivers fled the scene in about 25 percent of pedestrian crashes according to highway patrol. Last year, 18-27 year olds were charged with more than a third of all hit and run crashes, 70 percent of which were issued to males. As a result of the spike in incidents, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSV) recognizes February 15-19, 2016 as High and Run Awareness Week in an effort to highlight the impacts of leaving the scene of a crash and reduce the number of hit and run crashes in Florida .
Under Florida law, the driver of any vehicle involved in a crash occurring on public or private property that results in the death of any person must immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash, or as close thereto as possible and, and must remain at the scene of the crash . Leaving the scene of an accident with a resulting injury or death is a felony. As such, the driver when convicted, will have their license revoked for at least three years and can be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of four years in prison.
There are so many people who don’t understand the consequences and they aren’t doing the right thing,” Sgt. Kim Montes of Troop D, Office of Public Affairs said, “How can you leave a person to die on the side of the road like a piece of trash?” Sgt. Kim Montes is responsible for providing information to the public, responding to inquiries from the statewide news media, conducting traffic safety programs, and managing various safety programs .
Recent Cases Making Headlines
- Allison Faye Huffman, 36, of Riverview, parked her car at a nearby hotel after a 2:22am collision with Rogelio Perez-Borronto, 43, a driver with Lou’s Total Car Care and Towing in Tampa. Borronto had pulled over his tow truck to help stranded motorists along the Howard Frankland Bridge and placed them in the cab of his 2015 Dodge Ram tow truck to make sure they were safe. He was standing on the left side of the tow truck when, for unknown reasons, he was stuck by Huffman’s 2012 black Volkswagen Passat and hurled into the side of his truck, according to highway patrol. Borroto died at the scene. Huffman was arrested around 9 pm the same day, after she was found at a friend’s residence in St. Petersburg. According to police records, Huffman has been arrested for driving under the influence on three occasions. She also is currently facing charges of running a red light and driving with a suspended license. Owner of the tow company, Luis Moralez said, “I would like to see the justice system do something with this woman permanently; a good man is no longer with us, and he left behind a lot of people that valued him.” 
- Kila Holland, 23, of Orlando, killed a teen girl and left her surviving brother with chronic brain damage after crashing into them at about 3:20 am on December 6, 2013. Holland was driving her two-door Mercedes on East Colonial Drive when troopers say she hit then 18 year old Travis Luque Exposito and 17 year old sister Melanie. Apparently, the siblings were riding together on a bicycle and were not in the crosswalk at the time of the crash. Florida Highway and Patrol determined that it wasn’t Holland’s fault; however, she is being held liable for leaving the scene after the accident. The mother of the two victims’ hopes that the judge takes into consideration Holland’s driving record, which includes three speeding tickets, one of which was nearly a year after the crash. “Our actions speak highly of the person we are,” Ms. Exposito said. “The entire 22 months had meant nothing for [Holland] as she’s continued to live life carefree and make poor decisions during and after the accident.” 
What To Do After A Hit And Run
After a hit and run occurs, it can be confusing to understand what to do; especially when the driver of the vehicle who caused the injury leaves the scene of the auto accident. Once a hit and run takes place, if able, call emergency professionals right away and stay as calm as possible. It is best to gather as much information as possible to increase the chances that the police will catch the driver who caused the incident. This also helps the victim’s car insurance company make decisions about their claim. In Florida, PIP insurance and/or uninsured motorist coverage usually pays for medical expenses and/or car repairs.
It’s also imperative to make sure they get as much information as possible about the car that hit them and to look for any other possible witnesses. Taking these steps, along with any pictures taken, will aid when filing a police report as well as when describing the accident to a personal injury attorney.
Dolman Law Group
Following the steps included above can help victims ensure that they have the best representation they deserve. Having all of the facts about an accident drawn up for the police, medical professionals and legal personnel will be most effective in warranting that everything is accounted for. Cases such as the ones mentioned in the blog post are an unfortunate reality in today’s distracted driver world. While distracted driving is not the only cause for hit and runs, the increased reliance on technology in cars for entertainment, navigation, communication etc. is a significant factor in causing negligent drivers to hit unsuspecting pedestrians. While this week is Hit and Run Awareness week, considering the numbers from previous years, it’s best to not only be informed as much as possible about hit and runs, but to also practice safe driving standards as well as safe common sense pedestrian standards.
If you are involved in a hit and run, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group for a free case evaluation and scheduled consultation. Following the advice from the article will increase the change that you will have in receiving damages for any injuries that the fled driver caused you. Please call (727) 451-6900 today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765