Wrong-way wreck claims 1 life; alcohol suspected

There are few hazards that are more deadly than head-on collisions caused by wrong-way drivers. Yet the prevalence of these crashes indicates that the problem is a serious one indeed.

For one Jacksonville man, a collision of this type proved fatal earlier this week. The 30-year-old driver was northbound on Main Street in his Toyota Echo at approximately 2:40 a.m. on Monday, April 4. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, as the driver approached Setzer Road, a man, 27, driving his Ford F-150 pickup the wrong way collided nearly head-on with the compact vehicle.

The Echo driver was pronounced dead at the scene; the wrong-way driver suffered minor injuries and was transported to UF Health Jacksonville. Police sources indicated that alcohol impairment factored into the accident, which is still under investigation by the Highway Patrol.

In all likelihood, the pickup truck driver will face serious criminal charges stemming from the death of the other driver. Yet that is only one path to justice for the survivors of the crash victim. While criminal convictions can help survivors ensure that justice was served, they do not address the financial and other losses that ensue from the wrongful death of a beloved family member.

Particularly when the deceased was the primary breadwinner, it may be necessary for survivors to pursue a claim for damages in the Florida civil court system. A spouse, adult child, parent or other family members can be named the personal representative of the deceased and initiate the action for wrongful death. When minor children are involved, the other parent or another party can file suit on their behalf.

Source: The Florida Times-Union, “Jacksonville man killed in North Main Street crash early Monday,” Dan Scanlan, April 05, 2016