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Archive for auto-accident

St. Lucie Deputy in Single-Vehicle Crash

Deputy Alan Ross, of Port St. Lucie, died in a single-car accident on Thursday. According to authorities from the Florida Highway Patrol, Ross was driving his personal car when he drove off of Interstate 95, struck a pole, and stopped at the bottom of an embankment.

Ross was the only person in his vehicle and was on his way to work at the St. Lucie County Jail. The crash happened just before 6:30 p.m. north of the Okeechobee Road Exit. The sheriff’s department issued a statement that read, in part, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ross family and our Sheriff’s Office family during this tragic loss.”

While details of what may have caused the crash have not been released, there are several common causes of single-vehicle accidents to be aware of.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is quickly becoming the number one issue facing drivers and others on the road today. From eating to drinking, from talking to passengers to checking email, people are doing more than just driving in their cars. Keep your eyes on the road and your mind focused on the task at hand.

Exhaustion

If you are too tired to drive, don’t. It really is that simple. No amount of turning the radio up or rolling the window down will keep you awake, especially on long, flat stretches of road. When you haven’t been getting enough sleep, driving can be dangerous.

Medical Conditions

There are some medical conditions that can make driving risky. Conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy, particularly when uncontrolled, can make getting behind the wheel a bad idea. In other cases, acute conditions like heart attack or stroke have caused people to crash their vehicles.

Intoxication

Driving while intoxicated is a top cause of single-vehicle accidents. Driving while impaired increases your chances for crashing your car exponentially. If you have been drinking, find a sober ride home. If you can’t find a

Trial Begins for Man Accused of Vehicular Homicide

On April 13, 2013, a car accident changed the lives of everyone involved. Five lives were taken and a young man stands accused of vehicular homicide.

Last week, the trial for Jabari Kemp began. He is answering to his involvement in a crash that killed five people. The facts of the case began to unfold for a jury who could begin deciding very soon if Kemp, 23, drove in such a way that he should be held criminally responsible for five deaths.

Those killed in the accident were Makita Campbell, 14; Orane Cummings, 22; Shonteria Grimsley, 17; Christina Oliver-Joseph, 17; and Jason Mahlung, 22.

According to prosecutor Laura Burkhart, Kemp drove his Mercedes in speeds that exceeded 120 miles per hour down Blue Heron Boulevard’s exit ramp from Interstate 95. He ran through a red light, crashing into the driver’s side of the vehicle carrying those killed.

Prosecutor Judith Arco wanted Kemp to be convicted of DUI manslaughter. Unfortunately, those charges had to be dropped because of a mistake that occurred during Kemp’s blood draw. This came only months after a separate jury acquitted Kemp of marijuana possession stemming from an arrest that occurred just hours before the crash.

It was discovered that a vial of Kemp’s blood, drawn after the collision, had been mislabeled. Because of the mislabeling, the DUI manslaughter charges were dropped down to vehicular homicide.

Although the defense declined to present opening arguments, latest requests filed with the judge in the case appear to be setting up an argument that Kemp suffers with a medical difficulty that resulted in the crash. According to court records, it has been revealed that a neurologist discovered lesions on Kemp’s brain. The judge has ruled, however, that jurors will not hear those details.

While many of the victims’ family members appeared in court, many will not be returning to listen to further testimony. Shon Grimsley, father of Shonteria, will be

Miami Lakes Mayor Veers Into Tree

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. – Just last week, Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi was in an automobile accident involving only his vehicle and a tree. The accident has come on the heels of his acquittal stemming from charges that he accepted illegal donations.

In August 2013, the mayor was arrested on federal charges of accepting illegal donations that totaled over $6,000. The mayor was suspended from his office and, a year later, acquitted of all charges. In this latest incident, Pizzi not only struck a tree, but walked away from the scene of the accident.

According to police reports, Pizzi struck a tree on the side of Northwest 82nd Avenue, very close to 140th Street. The accident occurred at about 9 p.m., damaging the tree and leaving various car parts scattered at the point of impact. Pizzi was the only occupant of the vehicle.

Police did not respond to the scene for an hour and a half after the accident occurred, finding Pizzi to be nowhere in the area. In the report, police stated that there was fresh blood on both the console and the driver’s seat. The area was canvassed but Pizzi could not be found.

Shortly after officers arrived on scene and began their investigation, Pizzi returned, displaying a cut on his forehead. The report stated that it was evident that Pizzi was not wearing his seat belt because of the injuries to his head. Authorities on scene do not believe that Pizzi was impaired, and it is reported that he was cooperative with officers.

Pizzi claimed to have struck the tree after veering to avoid an animal in the road. Pizzi was not asked to complete any field sobriety tests and is not expected to be charged in the incident. He released a statement that said, in part:

“Like any other human being, I can have a traffic accident. Thank God no one was injured and there were

Wrong-Way Driver on Interstate 15

An early morning accident on Saturday near Fallbrook left two drivers dead. The crash occurred on Interstate 15 shortly before three in the morning just one mile south of Gopher Canyon Road.

Minutes before the accident, California Highway Patrol began receiving emergency calls regarding a white Honda Civic driving the wrong way down the highway. The Civic was driving northbound in the southbound lanes of I15.

The wrong-way driver, a 51-year-old man, slammed his car into a Mercedes being driven by a 57-year-old woman. There were no passengers in either vehicle, and both drivers were killed on scene. The names of the drivers were not immediately available.

It is not believed that drugs or alcohol had any factor in the crash. Items recovered from the Civic indicate that the male driver may have had a medical condition. Whether or not that is the case remains under investigation by officials.

According to AAA, there are several medical conditions that can negatively affect your ability to drive safely. These conditions include dementia, arthritis, diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea, and Parkinson’s. Uncontrolled epilepsy can also pose a danger when you are behind the wheel.

As people increase in age, their ability to drive safely can be adversely affected by one or more of these conditions. It is important to understand, however, that you do not have to be elderly to be dealing with one of these issues. People of any age may have medical conditions that preclude them from driving in a way that is safe for everyone.

Some prescription medications can also impair your ability to drive. Just like alcohol and illegal drugs, medications have side effects that can reduce your reaction time and, in some cases, inhibit your ability to stay awake. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about any medications you are on if you are uncertain how they will affect your ability to drive.

Not only should you not

Common Car Accident Injuries

Auto accidents happen every day, and these accidents cause any manner of injuries. Any part of your body can sustain damage in a car wreck, but some are more common than others. When you take a look at insurance claims and the variety of personal injury lawsuits that arise from accidents, there are injuries that occur more frequently than others.

Head and Brain Injuries

One of the most frequently-occurring injuries that is sustained in a car accident is one to the head. These injuries range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries. Even if you have no physical signs of an injury, you should seek medical attention if you have been thrown forward, backward, or to the side.

Neck Injuries

Neck injuries are also common. You may experience whiplash or neck strain after an accident. You may also receive more serious injuries like those to your discs or cervical radiculopathy.

Back Injuries

When you sustain impact like that in a car accident, hurting your back is easy to do. Injuries range from fracture, sprain, strain, disc injury, thoracic spine injury and more. If you were involved in an accident with a strong impact, be very careful about moving immediately following the collision. Sudden or wrong movements can worsen back injuries.

Facial Injuries

Impacts with air bags, the steering wheel, or even the windshield can cause damage to your face. You may receive minor scrapes and bruises, or you could sustain disfiguring injuries. Dental and jaw injuries are also common in auto accidents.

Psychological Effects

Injuries related to auto accidents are not limited to the physical. The trauma of an accident can impact your psychological wellbeing. You may experience emotional distress or even develop conditions that are similar to post traumatic stress disorder.

It is important to understand that the severity of the accident does not always match the severity of the injuries. Even a minor accident can cause traumatic injury.

Keeping Senior Drivers Safe

There are more than 35 million licensed drivers on the road who are aged 65 or older. Having transportation and maintaining the ability to drive keeps seniors independent and mobile. That said, the risk for being killed or injured in a car accident increases as you age. Over 500 seniors are involved in car accidents every day. Keeping our senior drivers safe is easy when you follow just a few simple steps.

Who is at risk?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is an increase in fatal crashes among those aged 70 to 74. The highest rates of fatality are seen among drivers who are 85 and older. This is due, in part, to an increased susceptibility to not only injury, but medical complications, among senior driver.

Among seniors, males have a higher death rate due to auto injury. At-fault accidents may be attributed to a decline in vision and overall cognitive function among this age group.

How can accidents and injury be prevented?

Seniors should be encouraged to drive when conditions are safest. This means staying home during inclement weather or finding alternate transportation, and driving when natural light is abundant.

People who choose to drive later in life may want to discuss medications with doctors and pharmacists. Some medications can impair reaction times and may reduce the cognitive functions necessary to drive safely.

Older adults should have their eyes checked at least annually. Prescribed glasses or contact lenses should be worn at all times when behind the wheel. Driving under optimum conditions is also highly recommended.

Those who may have slight cognitive delays should plan their routes ahead of time. This can prevent seniors from becoming lost or confused. Older adults may wish to rely on a GPS no matter how short their trip.

While everyone should avoid distracted driving, it is especially important for seniors to do so. Avoid texting, emailing, or otherwise using your

Distracted Driving on the Rise

Drivers are more distracted than ever before thanks to smartphones, says AT&T, a leading wireless provider. The companies “It Can Wait” campaign released the results of a survey involving 2,000 drivers who both own a smartphone and drive at least once each day.

The survey proves just how distracted some drivers are when they are out on the road. Not only are people texting, but they are taking photos, making video, and participating in exchanges on social media. You may be driving with your full attention on the road, but chances are that the person next to you, in front of you or behind you is not.

Results of the survey that were released tell us that:

59% of people read texts while driving 43% of people send texts while driving Four in 10 people use social media while driving One in 10 people participate in video chat while driving 17% take selfies while driving 26% of people are checking out their Facebook profiles 14% of people are on Twitter 13% are keeping up with Instagram

Representatives, including Irving Slosberg, want car manufacturers to change how cars are made. An idea has been proposed outlining a way for technology in cars to disable cell phones when the car is in operation. At the very least, politicians would like to see laws made more tough.

As it stands, in states where texting and driving is illegal, it is a secondary law. This means that you must be charged with a primary law first. For example, to be charged with texting and driving, you must first have been pulled over for speeding. If some legislators have their way, texting and driving could be changed to a primary offense.

While some law enforcement agencies report seeing no rise in the amount of distracted driving, trauma surgeons have a different viewpoint. Says Dr. Michael West of St. Mary’s Medical Center, “We’re seeing

Scooter Driver Struck in Hit-and-Run

A man was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday and received critical injuries.

Police say that Joseph Deverson, 22, was riding a Go-Ped motorized scooter in the 3100 block of Powerline Road around 10:45 p.m. Oakland Park Fire Rescue responded to the scene and transported Deverson to Broward Health Medical Center.

Family and friends gathered at the site of the crash to hold a candlelight vigil for the young man. Vinnie Souza, a friend of the victim, told reporters, “Hoping for the best right now, hope he’ll pull through. We’re all just trying to be strong for him.”

Accident investigators pieced together clues from the scene. It is believed that Deverson was struck by a white 2013 or newer model BMW 6 series car. Based on the pieces of automobile left behind, it is believed that there is likely damage to the hood, bumper, and quarter panel of the vehicle as well as possible damage to the windshield.

Investigators are unsure of the causes of the accident, but wonder if the vehicle’s driver simply did not see Deverson. Go-Peds are not street legal in Fort Lauderdale and it would have been somewhat unusual to see one being driven on the street so late at night. If the driver had remained on the scene, he or she may not have faced any charges.

At this point, the crash is considered to be a hit-and-run, and authorities are searching for both the car and its driver. Anyone with information about either is being asked to contact Detective Carlos DeJesus at 954.321.4840 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954.493.8477. Calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous.

While the Go-Ped, and many other forms of scooters, are not permitted on city streets, it is important to remember to be on the lookout for them. As the weather improves, more people will be outdoors enjoying themselves. Make sure that your radio is not

Wrong Way Driver on Interstate 15

SAN DIEGO, Cal – A wrong-way driver, suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, has been released from jail. Shane McDonald, 21, of San Diego, is accused of driving the wrong way on I15 and slamming head on into another vehicle. Two people in that car died and three others were seriously injured.

McDonald has been charged with five counts of felony DUI causing injury or death and two counts of vehicular manslaughter as a result of the May 2 incident. He has plead not guilty.

According to McDonald’s defense attorney, the man is a college student who rarely drinks. She claims that he and his entire family are devastated over the incident.

Police reports provide details of the accident. The California Highway Patrol says that the accident happened just after 3 a.m. McDonald was operating an Audi A4 in the wrong direction of the highway, ultimately colliding with a Honda Civic carrying a driver and four passengers.

The driver of the Civic apparently saw McDonald coming and attempted to change lanes. McDonald did the same, causing the vehicles to meet head on. The impact of the vehicles was strong enough to kill the driver and a passenger on the scene. One person was ejected from a vehicle, and fire crews had to pry the car open to release people from the back seat of the Civic.

The survivors in the Civic were taken to Scripps La Jolla and Sharp. Injuries included head trauma, broken necks, broken ribs, a broken clavicle, and abdominal injuries. Family members tell media outlets that the survivors are in stable condition and living day-to-day as they try to heal.

McDonald, who admits to smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, faces 20 years in prison if he is convicted of his alleged crimes.

The decision to drink and drive can have devastating consequences, not only for the driver, but for dozens of other innocent people. If

Texting and Alcohol Do Not Mix in Miami Accident

Mila Dago will soon go to trial for her involvement in an accident that left her passenger and friend dead. Texts have been released to the public, depicting Dago as a young-lover scorned and angry.

To deal with breaking up with her boyfriend, according to police reports, Dago and her friend, Irina Reinoso, hit the town in Miami in August 2013. Throughout a night of drinking and partying, Dago and her ex-boyfriend exchanged 60 texts. Some of those were sent just moments before she ran a red light and caused a crash that proved fatal.

“I’m done you ruined me,” Dago texted. Other texts included “Drinking and driving whoo” and “You’ll be the death of me.” Her final text message was sent just prior to driving her rented Smart Car through a red light and into a pickup truck just before 5 a.m.

Reinoso was pronounced dead on scene and the truck driver knocked unconscious. Dago walked away with only bruises.

Arrested in January of 2014, Dago was placed on house arrest after being released from jail on a $20,000 bond. She has plead not guilty to vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, and two counts of DUI with damage to a person. The date of her impending trial has not been set.

Reinoso’s family has filed civil suits against the car rental company and Dago herself.

Drinking and driving was a choice that Dago made, and that poor choice has had severe consequences for several families. Not only has one family lost a child, but a man was seriously injured, and a second family may lose their daughter to prison. To compound the problems, Dago chose to text irate messages to an ex-boyfriend instead of paying attention to the road.

What could Dago have done differently? Several things.

Driving while distracted is as deadly as driving while intoxicated. Doing both is a recipe for disaster. If you decide to spend a