Police in Florida recovered a body from the water near Buckman Bridge in Jacksonville on July 17. Police suspect that the 48-year-old male decedent was the driver inside a truck that went over the guardrail. Investigators say that a 21-year-old driver traveling northbound on Buckman became distracted around 7:30 a.m. and failed to adjust his speed to slowing traffic ahead. The driver attempted to brake, but he swerved to the left into the path of a pickup truck.
Investigators are uncertain what caused the distraction, but local reporters mentioned that there was another accident occurring on the southbound side around the same time. The impact of the collision caused both vehicles to spin out, sending the pickup truck into the barrier wall where it flipped over into the St. Johns River. The Navy and Coast Guard assisted local authorities with searching the river for the victim. The 21-year-old driver did not suffer any injuries in the accident.
Investigators suspect but are still attempting to confirm if the body that was recovered was the man in the truck and if any passengers were on board when the collision occurred. The search ended after a SONAR search was conducted. According to police, charges will likely be filed pending the investigation’s completion, but it could take up to three months before that happens.
If someone dies due to the negligent actions of a driver, such as that individual becoming distracted, Florida law permits immediate relatives to seek compensation for loss of support and services, funeral expenses and medical costs caused by the death. A spouse may seek restitution for loss of companionship and protection as well as any mental pain and suffering caused by the fatal car accident.
Source: WOKV, “Could take three months to determine charges in Buckman fatal crash“, Stephanie Brown, July 17, 2014