According to authorities, the driver involved in an accident that killed one and severely injured another on Dec. 6, 2013, in Orlando has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash involving death, leaving the scene of a fatal crash involving serious bodily injury and tampering with evidence. The incident occurred when the driver, now 22 years of age, struck a brother and sister who were riding together on a bicycle at about 3:20 a.m. The sister was pronounced dead at the scene and the brother, now 19 years of age, was revived at Orlando Regional Medical Center; his memory was severely affected by the accident, and he is learning how to eat and walk again.
During the night of the accident, the siblings were riding their bicycle on East Colonial Drive when the car struck them while they were attempting to cross from the north to the south side of the road. Both of them were thrown into the air.
The brother was in a coma for over two weeks and could not recall the crash when he woke up. He was also unable to identify some of his closest friends. Four surgeries were required to repair his lungs, and he now uses a walker because his left leg was shattered.
Authorities do not know why the driver fled the scene; she had valid insurance, a license and a clean record. Had she stayed after the accident happened she may not have faced any charges at all, according to police; the siblings were not using a crosswalk when they were struck. Police took several factors into account during the investigation, including eyewitness testimonies and surveillance videos. The mother of the victims filed a civil lawsuit against the driver less than a week after the car accident happened.
Someone in a similar situation could choose to file a civil suit against a negligent driver. They could receive compensation to cover medical expenses or burial costs if the victim passed away.
Source: Orlando Sentinel , “Woman, 22, charged in hit-and-run that killed teen, left another brain damaged“, Gal Tziperman Lotan, December 13, 2014