One person is dead and another injured in a collision in Walton on Jan. 30. The accident occurred at about 7 p.m. near the intersection of Mussett Bayou Road and U.S. Highway 98.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the fatal accident took place on the westbound side of Highway 98 when an Infiniti, driven by a 21-year-old Santa Rosa Beach man, rear-ended a Cadillac Escalade that contained a 67-year-old woman. The Santa Rosa Beach man had been driving at a high-rate of speed as he approached the Escalade and had not slowed down or attempted to avoid the impact, crashing into the Escalade’s rear left side. The Escalade then spun clockwise and travelled off the road, finally overturning on the shoulder. The Infiniti crashed into street sign and then a tree on the north side of the road.
The 67-year-old passenger of the Escalade, a woman from Michigan, was killed as a result of the impact. The driver was injured and taken to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola for treatment. Police arrested the driver of the Infiniti at the scene of the accident and charged him with DUI-related charges, including DUI manslaughter.
In cases like this, when a driver is charged with DUI and other related charges, evidence from the criminal investigation might be used to show that the driver was liable for the accident and that the driver’s negligent behavior led to the victims’ injuries and death. The victims and their surviving family might then consider filing a personal injury claim against the driver. In Florida, a successful claim might result in awards for economic and non-economic damages. These damages might include the costs associated with medical care as well as funeral and burial expenses. Additionally, in cases of wrongful death claims, the damages might also include loss of financial support for the surviving family members.
Source: The Walton Sun, “One dead after Friday night crash,” Jan. 31, 2015