Five Florida students and a pregnant woman had no idea what was headed their way. On a recent Thursday evening, they encountered a man described by officials as a “highly” drunk driver. He was later arrested for causing two motor vehicle accidents. The driver — who didn’t even stop — first plowed over five school-aged children. He and his vehicle were located some distance away after it had also struck the car occupied by the pregnant woman.
According to the news video regarding the tragedy, an off-duty police officer got to the man first and asked him if he knew what happened. He supposedly told the officer that he struck a car. He apparently had no idea that he struck the five children as well.
Two of those children suffered critical injuries. One recently died after being declared brain dead. The other three children also suffered injuries, but they were treated at an area hospital and released. The condition of the woman driving the car was not reported.
The accused driver faces numerous charges, and reports indicate that his blood alcohol concentration was still above Florida’s legal limit of .08 hours after the incident. With the death of the one child, his charges were upgraded to include vehicular homicide. It was discovered that the 48-year-old man was a former Mississippi police officer.
While the criminal proceedings move forward, the families of the victims may exercise their rights to file civil actions against the driver as well, along with the pregnant driver depending on the severity of the injuries she suffered. The evidence prosecutors submit in criminal court, along with any convictions secured, could be used as evidence of negligence in civil court. Any restitution received through a civil court judgment could help defray the financial burdens that inevitably arise in these types of motor vehicle accidents.
Source: abcactionnews.com, “1 of 5 students hit by drunk driver at bus stop dies from injuries, driver was former police officer“, Isabel Rosales, April 28, 2017