Florida man facing manslaughter charge in drunk driving crash

On Oct. 7, Florida law enforcement officials detained a 27-year-old man on drunk-driving charges in connection with an Aug. 10 accident that killed one person and injured another. That incident purportedly happened on U.S. 301 near Thonotosassa.

That is where the 27-year-old man was traveling the wrong way in a Ford F-250 along the highway’s southbound lanes, officials allege. The northbound truck crashed head-on into a southbound Acura TSX, which was carrying two people, near Stacy Road. The driver of the Acura, a 27-year-old man, suffered fatal injuries in the collision, and officials pronounced him dead at the scene of the crash. His passenger, a 30-year-old woman, suffered minor injuries in the car accident, authorities said.

A police report indicated that the 27-year-old driver of the pickup truck admitted that he had been drinking alcohol before the accident. An emergency crew took him to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. At the hospital, he volunteered a blood sample, which indicated that his blood alcohol content level was .146 percent. The legal limit for drivers in Florida is .08 percent. The pickup truck driver is facing multiple charges: DUI manslaughter, driving without a valid driver’s license and DUI with property damage.

While this case has yet to be adjudicated, drunk drivers cause thousands of fatal traffic accidents every year, according to data compiled by the federal government’s Department of Transportation. In many cases, drunk drivers are caught, charged and convicted following a fatal car accident. However, criminal prosecution does not preclude the families of deceased accident victims from pursuing a lawsuit against the impaired driver. In fact, certain family members of people killed in DUI accidents may be entitled to restitution via civil action. By retaining a lawyer and filing a wrongful death claim, bereaved family members may seek compensation for end-of-life expenses related to the decedent as well as other economic damages they suffered as a result of the deadly crash.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Tampa man charged with DUI manslaughter in fatal wrong-way crash“, October 08, 2014