A recent story out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida demonstrates just how dangerous riding on roadways can be for bike riders. A rider was found in critical condition Monday after a driver struck him and then kept driving for two miles with the man caught on the car’s shattered rear window.
The driver, 27-year-old Axel Inostroza, was driving on Northeast 18th Avenue around 6:30 a.m. when his 2003 Black Ford Mustang struck 53-year-old Craig Camlin, who was riding his bike in the same direction. The front right corner of Inostroza’s Mustang clipped the back of Camlin’s bike and sent him over the roof of the car where he landed on and shattered the rear window. Instead of stopping, Inostroza proceeded to two drive two miles until he reached his home.
Once home, Inostroza removed Camlin from the car’s rear window and dumped him in a wooded area behind a trash bin and bushes. According to Inostroza’s own confession to investigators, he then hid his damaged vehicle to keep his girlfriend from seeing it and went inside to sleep.
Luckily, around 9 a.m. a landscaping crew discovered Camlin who was fighting for his life. He was transferred to North Broward Hospital where he is in critical condition with a deep gash on his head, a partially severed ear, and spinal injuries. According to police Camlin may be paralyzed from the accident.
Broward Sheriff’s deputies in conjunction with Fort Lauderdale investigators were able to apprehend Inostroza at a Pompano Beach body shop around 2 p.m. as he was attempting to have the car repaired. An employee of the body shop called police after noticing that the damage to the Mustang was consistent with the hit-and-run. The front bumper of the car was missing, the front and rear windows were smashed, and there was blood on the rear of the car.
Initially, Inostroza told deputies that he drove into a stop sign. Later, he changed his story and confessed to traffic-homicide investigators. Inostroza also admitted that he had been drinking before the incident. Inostroza was arrested on criminal charges and will surely face civil liability as well.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 677 cyclists were killed in crashes involving motor vehicles in 2011. Florida had more cycling fatalities than any other state, accounting for 125 of the 667 total across the country. In many cases, these fatalities are the direct result of distracted or intoxicated motor vehicle drivers.
When a negligent driver injures a cyclist, the driver’s insurance company is liable for the damage caused. That said, drivers, especially those that have been drinking, will sometimes attempt to flee the scene of the accident in an attempt to avoid criminal and civil liability. Given prompt notification, law enforcement is usually able to track down the suspect. In cases where the offender is never located, the victim cyclist may be able to file a claim under their own uninsured motorist policy.
Cycling injuries caused by distracted or intoxicated drivers can be especially severe. If you or a loved one was injured by the negligence of a driver contact the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today. Our experienced attorneys our dedicated to ensuring that cycling accident victims are fully compensated for their injuries. 727-451-6900.