Couple killed by drunk driver on Thanksgiving

A married couple in Florida was killed by a drunk driver right after having Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 27. After enjoying a meal with friends, the 64-year-old man and 53-year-old woman were traveling back to St. Petersburg, and they were only minutes away from their home. Around 5:30 p.m., a man allegedly driving over 100 mph struck the couple’s vehicle at an intersection.

According to reports, the 31-year-old defendant had just caused another car accident before colliding with the couple’s car. He was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg for treatment of minor injuries and then transferred to the Pinellas County Jail. He was handed two charges for driving under the influence-manslaughter along with other charges for driving without a valid driver’s license in an unregistered and uninsured vehicle.

Police at the scene reported that the defendant appeared to be intoxicated. His blood-alcohol level was tested and found to be almost two times the legal limit for drivers in Florida. State records show that the man served around eight months in prison after being convicted of cocaine trafficking, grand theft and forgery in 2008. He has also received multiple charges for driving without vehicle registration and driving with a suspended license.

When someone is killed by a drunk driver, the deceased person’s right to claim damages gets passed to their surviving family members. The parents, children or spouse of a deceased car accident victim may choose to pursue compensation by filing a wrongful death claim against the party that holds liability. Because this process can be difficult right after a loved one’s passing, many families choose to seek help from an attorney.

Source: The St. Petersburg Tribune, “Man faces DUI charges after crash that killed St. Pete couple“, Jose Patino Girona, November 29, 2014