At 12:30 am on January 17, 2017, 43-year-old Alexis Monroe left her parents home in Summer field, Marion County and headed for Tampa. Earlier that day, the mother of two daughters had an argument with her boyfriend. As was customary whenever she wanted time to cool off, Alexis left for Tampa to spend time with close friends. Her night journey would however end in tragedy shortly thereafter.
She was knocked down and killed by a car as she walked along the South U.S. 301. The driver did not stop. A truck driver who happened on the body about an hour and a half after the accident called 911. A few days later, Florida Highway Patrol troopers found the silver Honda sedan that they believe was involved in the hit and run. No arrests have been made but investigations are ongoing and the police are looking to interview some persons of interest.
The law requires that drivers involved in a crash that causes death, injury or property damage, remain at the scene in order to provide their details as well as render emergency assistance to victims if necessary. The details they provide include their name, address, driver’s license and vehicle’s registration. Unfortunately, as Alexis’ devastating end shows, this is not always the case. Many drivers opt to flee.
According to the FDHSMV, a quarter of all Florida car accidents in 2014 involved a hit-and-run. While most result in only property damage, nearly 200 people were killed in 2015. The number of Florida hit-and-run crashes rose 8% in 2015. Between 2012 and 2014, Orange County had the 3rd highest number of hit-and-run collisions in the state: 17,670.
Leaving an accident scene is an offense. How much punishment is meted on the driver will depend on the severity of the accident and it’s aftermath.
When apprehended, persons charged with hit-and-run will often present arguments in their defense. The following are two of the most common.
The driver may deny knowledge of the accident. This would be a feasible argument in instances where the contact between the cars was so mild as to make it difficult for the driver to have felt it. Yet, in instances of such little contact, there is often hardly any damage or injury that results.
Given the force of impact that characterizes serious crashes, it is unlikely that a driver would fail to notice they have been involved in such an accident. Realistically, that would only happen if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or had a medical impairment such as hypoglycemia.
The defendant can claim that they were not the one behind the wheel at the time of the accident. This a realistic defense in cases where witnesses only spotted the vehicle’s registration and physical attributes but could not identify the person behind the wheel. The driver will present alibi witnesses that would corroborate his or her position.
If you have been injured following a hit-and-run accident, get in touch with Badgley Law Group’s Orlando Car Accident Lawyers. Our team has built an exceptional record in Florida representing accident victims. We do not spare any effort in ensuring your rights are protected and that you get the compensation you truly deserve.