Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

SUMTER COUNTY, FL – A man was convicted last week in connection with a fatal accident in Sumter County, according to the Citrus County Chronicle.

33-year-old Anthony Nepoleon Brown of Wildwood was found guilty of several charges in connection with the August 22, 2017 incident that led to the death of 55-year-old Laura Lee Price of Inverness.

Authorities said Brown was driving a BMW 550i as he attempted to flee from Wildwood Police and Sumter County deputies.  He went through a stop sign in the area of State Road 44 and Sumter County Road 219 and crashed into a Honda CRV driven by Price.   The BMW then sideswiped a Chevy pickup truck and hit a Mack semi-trailer truck.

OCALA, FL – A driver was sentenced to prison for a crash in Ocala that left three people dead, reports the Ocala StarBanner.

37-year-old Travis Lee Johnson pleaded no contest last week in connection with the accident that occurred in January 2017 in the area of County Road 326 and Northeast 25th Avenue.

Authorities said Johnson was behind the wheel of a tow truck on County Road 326 when he veered off the road onto a shoulder, went back onto the roadway and slammed into a sport utility vehicle.

CITRUS COUNTY, FL – The driver charged in a car accident that killed three people in Citrus County has pleaded no contest in the case, according to a report by the Citrus County Chronicle.

56-year-old Phillip Sawhill of Land O’Lakes will be sentenced Oct. 4 on three counts of second-degree vehicular homicide.

The crash took place Dec. 24, 2019 near the intersection of South Pleasant Grove Road and East Amy Lane near Inverness.  Authorities said Sawhill was driving a Toyota Highlander and trying to pass five other northbound vehicles in a no-passing zone on South Pleasant Grove Road.  His vehicle collided with a Kia Optima that was headed south.  Three people in the Kia, ages 86, 85 and 62, were pronounced dead at the scene.

A new report by Tripadvisor shows that 3 cities in Florida – Orlando, Miami and Key West – are among the top 5 most popular vacation destinations in the U.S. The Sunshine State boasts beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches and waterways, fun night life, exciting theme parks and water parks, and of course, delicious cuisine. Figures from VisitFlorida.org show that in 2021, Florida saw 122.4 million visitors. With that many people coming to Florida, there are bound to be some mishaps that lead to injuries.

Below you will find the top five most common injuries suffered by tourists visiting Florida:

  1. Fractures and broken bones: Falling from a height or other traumas can certainly result in fractures or broken bones, but the most common reason for fractures or broken bones are car accidents. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department, around 200,000 car accidents occur annually on Florida’s roadways, equaling out to 650 crashes per day. Visitors who are unfamiliar with the road and traffic patterns are at a greater risk of being involved in a car accident. Many tourists elect to not drive themselves and use rideshare services, like Uber or Lyft. These are great services, but also carry risks. If you are injured while on a ride with an Uber or Lyft driver, we can help.
  2. Internal organ injuries: Florida is ranked as the No. 1 most dangerous state in the country for pedestrian deaths, according to U.S. News. With that said, tourists are at a great risk of being hit by a car while walking or biking to their destinations. If you are lucky enough to survive being struck by a car, then you could be left suffering severe damage to internal organs, like your stomach, spleen, heart, kidneys, liver, and brain.
  3. Injured-on-Vacation-300x300Neck and head injuries: Car accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls, sporting and recreational accidents, and too much alcohol consumption are all common causes of head and neck injuries. Using golf carts, bikes, electric scooters – all popular modes of transportation in the Sunshine State – can present risks to tourists who are not used to using these vessels. Hiking, surfing, paddle boarding, parasailing, snorkeling, and kayaking are all recreational activities that many tourists partake in, but there are inherent risks.
  4. Soft tissue injuries: These injuries involve muscles, tendons, and ligaments and commonly result in sprains, strains, tendinitis, bursitis, and contusions. Many of these injuries are the result of sporting activities, but they can also occur from slip and fall or trip and fall incidents. Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents often happen at resorts and hotels in Florida vacation destinations, especially those that have beach access and swimming pools. Hotel owners are responsible for making sure that their premises are free from any and all hazards that could lead to guests sustaining injuries. If the premises are not properly maintained and clear of clutter, water, and debris, or have no warning signs about any dangerous conditions, then the hotel could be held liable for any injuries suffered by guests.
  5. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): A TBI is an injury that affects how the brain works. A blow, bump or jolt to the head can lead to a mild TBI or concussion, a moderate TBI or a severe TBI. The CDC reports that there were 64,000 TBI-related deaths in the U.S. in 2020. There can be numerous reasons for TBIs, but most Florida visitors suffer TBIs from recreational activities, like jet skiing, swimming and diving, boating, and parasailing.

Whatever injuries you have suffered, whether from a negligent hotel or a faulty jet ski rental beach company, our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can pinpoint who is liable and pursue financial compensation for your suffering. We specialize in all types of personal injuries and wrongful death cases, including what is known as “resort torts,” or injuries or death that happen while on vacation and staying at a resort, hotel, or in a recreational setting. Continue reading

MARION OAKS, FL – A 17-year-old girl died after a collision with a driver in a cement truck on County Road 484 Friday morning.

The teen was driving a Toyota Camry east in the outside lane of County Road 484. At the same time a driver in a cement truck was traveling west when they entered the left lane to turn left onto Southwest 27th Circle.

It was then that the truck slammed into the side of the Toyota, reports the Ocala StarBanner.

ZEPHYRHILLS, FL – A Canadian man died from injuries sustained while skydiving in Zephyrhills earlier this month, reports WFLA.

33-year-old James Southam of British Columbia, Canada was solo skydiving at Skydive City near Zephyr Pines on March 17th, when he suffered major injuries while attempting to land.

Southam was rushed to Lakeland Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

LAKE COUNTY, FL – A man driving a septic truck was killed when the vehicle overturned in Lake County Wednesday morning, reports News6.

The crash happened on County Road 48 near Ranch Road around 10:20 a.m. No other vehicles were involved.

The driver, a 58-year-old man from Groveland was pronounced dead at the scene.

PASCO COUNTY, FL – A man was fatally struck by a pickup truck while he was crossing an intersection south of Spring Hill on his moped Tuesday.

The incident happened at the intersection of Colony Road and Fairwinds Road as the moped rider made a left turn from Lake Karl Drive, reports WFLA. Police say the man came to a complete stop before attempting the turn.

The driver of a Ford F-150 failed to stop at a stop sign on Fairwinds Road, proceeded into the intersection, and collided with the moped.

BUSHNELL, FL – An elderly motorcyclist was fatally struck by a pickup truck on a county road west of Bushnell last Wednesday, The Villages News reports.

The fatal collision happened on County Road 48 just west of County Road 616 at about 3 p.m. on December 29, when a 1999 Ford F-350 turned left in front of a motorcycle being operated by a 73-year-old Webster man.

Emergency responders took the victim to an area hospital, where he died. Authorities say he was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The driver of a girls home van involved in an Alabama interstate crash that killed eight children has filed a lawsuit against trucking companies in California and Georgia as well as another driver, according to reports. 

The federal lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount of money and involves the director of the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch who was trying to help free the victims involved in the fiery crash. Two of the women’s children and two of her nephews were killed in the collision. 

The woman was pulled from the van by others nearby and rushed around trying to free anyone else she could, but was unable to because of the flames and damage.

The suit said that all of the children were killed by the fiery crash. In total, eight children ranging in age from 3 to 17 died in the van. 

The woman driver of the van that was rescued from the crash suffered bruises, burns, and severe emotional and mental distress. 

In a separate crash, a Tennessee man and his daughter also died on Interstate 65. 

The lawsuit names the California-based Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport and Asmat Express of Clarkston, Ga., which both were identified by the National Transportation Safety Board as being involved in the crash. The suit also named an Asmat driver. 

None of the companies involved have made a comment. 

truck-602567_1920-300x200The woman was driving the van on the left lane of Interstate 65 heading north when the Hansen & Adkins truck failed to stop in traffic, struck an SUV and swerved into her lane. The van was then struck from behind by the Asmat Express truck, according to the lawsuit. 

The lawsuit alleges that the crash should not have ever happened. The trucks were not equipped with anti-crash safety technology and the drivers were going too fast, distracted or following too closely. 

A preliminary report by the NTSB recounted the crash similarly to the lawsuit, but did not place blame on a certain party or say what exactly caused the wreck. 

You can be the safest driver on the road, but when another driver on the road acts carelessly or negligently, then all bets are off. While any car accident can result in severe injuries, semi truck collisions can result in even more severe injuries or as this case shows, wrongful death. If you have had a loved one pass away as a result of a tragic accident with a semi truck driver, then our Florida Truck Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you take the appropriate steps to help you recover compensation for your suffering. While nothing we do can bring your loved one(s) back, it can hold the at-fault party responsible for their recklessness and prevent them from ever repeating their actions. It can also reward you with the financial compensation you need to move forward with your life as best as you can. 

The sad truth is that when a truck accident happens, the truck driver usually walks away unscathed while the other parties involved are not so lucky. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has studies that show 87% of all trucking accidents are caused by driver negligence. Negligence can include the following behaviors: 

  • Driver Fatigue
  • Speeding 
  • Distracted Driving 
  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and/or Alcohol
  • Inadequate Training 
  • Travelling Too Fast for Road Conditions
  • Unfamiliar with the Roads
  • Cargo Shift 
  • Wide Turns

As legal experts in the field of commercial truck accidents, our Florida Truck Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton will thoroughly investigate every truck accident that is brought to us in order to determine exactly what caused the collision. We will start by investigating whether the truck companies involved in the crash and the driver violated any state and federal regulations. We will do this by using the following tools: 

  • Reviewing Truck Log Books
  • Reviewing Truck Maintenance Logs 
  • Drug and Alcohol Tests
  • Looking into Weight Restriction Compliance 
  • Making sure the Company Fulfilled Safety Inspection Requirements 
  • Making sure the Company was in Compliance with Loading Procedures

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