Winter Haven, FL – A 19-year-old woman and her unborn child were killed Sunday night after an alleged drunk driver slammed into the back of the van they were riding in.
Police claim witnesses saw a man driving a 2012 Dodge Ram pickup truck recklessly on US Hwy 27 right before he rear-ended a Chrysler van carrying four passengers stopped at a red light around 10:19 p.m.
The 19-year-old mother-to-be was riding in the left rear passenger seat of the van when the collision occurred. She suffered severe trauma during the crash and died on the way to the hospital. An emergency C-section was performed to try and save her baby girl, who was 9 months along, but the child died due to severe injuries.
The woman riding in the front passenger seat of the van was flown to LMRC with serious injuries.
The man in the right rear passenger seat was taken to Winter Haven Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the van was also taken to Winter Haven Hospital where she was treated for bruises and lacerations.
The driver of the truck, a 27-year-old Oklahoma resident, was apparently driving at least 20 mph over the speed limit at the time of the accident.
Initial toxicology reports indicate the man’s Blood Alcohol Content was .131 at the time of the crash. A blood sample was taken from the man and has been sent to the FDLE lab for analysis.
The man has been charged with two counts of Vehicular Homicide, two counts of DUI Manslaughter, two counts of DUI involving Serious Bodily Injury, DUI crash involving property damage and DUI.
The charges this man faces are undoubtedly serious. In cases involving vehicular homicide or DUI manslaughter, it is essential to act swiftly as time can play a crucial role in uncovering evidence in your favor from the scene of the accident. As with all serious collisions, a thorough investigation must be conducted in order to challenge any evidence that the State may have against you. Despite the amount of evidence stacked against you, there are many issues that must be looked into that could assist in your defense against the charges.
A Florida DUI Manslaughter Defense Attorney can investigate any issues related to the accident, including the following:
• Was the breath or blood test conducted appropriately and were results properly preserved according to the law? Is this evidence reliable?
• Did your actions while behind the wheel actually cause the accident?
• Were you the one driving the vehicle at the time of the accident? Can prosecutors actually prove this?
• Did the actions or reactions of the other driver involved cause or contribute to the collision?
• Could seat belts have prevented the death or serious injuries of the driver and/or passengers?
If you were involved in a tragic accident that resulted in you being charged with DUI in Florida, you could be facing time behind bars for a DUI manslaughter conviction. A conviction can also mean heavy fines and the permanent loss of your driver’s license. As soon as you are involved in a fatal accident and believe that you could be charged with DUI manslaughter, contact a Florida DUI Lawyer at Whittel & Melton right away. We can immediately begin applying an appropriate defense strategy for your situation and make sure your rights remain protected. Contact us today online or call us anytime statewide and toll-free by dialing 866-608-5529.