Florida families who have lost loved ones know the toll it can take. Deadly motor vehicle accidents can devastate families, and it could take a significant amount of time to heal even though the hole left behind can never be filled. When one family heard about the death of one of its members recently, the only comment they had when reporters called was that it was too hard to talk about and that the family -- including the victim's 11-year-old daughter -- is in mourning.
The 48-year-old man worked for his father-in-law as a tow truck driver. He was called by troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol to tow one of three vehicles that were pulled over for racing on Interstate 75. No one at the scene could have predicted what happened next.
As the man was preparing to load a vehicle onto his tow truck on the northbound shoulder of the highway, a vehicle plowed into him and his truck. The injuries the victim suffered were so severe that he succumbed to them there at the scene. The driver of the vehicle that hit him was suspected of being impaired and was taken into custody for DUI manslaughter and charges regarding the property damage. At last report, the suspected drunk driver remained incarcerated at the Hillsborough County Jail.
After the victim's family has the chance to process their loss, they might exercise their right to file a wrongful death claim against the driver. Any evidence that prosecutors intend to present to the court -- and any resulting convictions -- could be used to establish the driver's negligence to a civil court. Doing so could result in an award of damages similar to those scene in other fatal motor vehicle accidents.
Source: tampabay.com, "Tow truck driver killed in Interstate 75 drunken driving crash had passion for helping people, family members say", Kathryn Varn, Oct. 9, 2016