Driver Charged Following Hit-and-Run of Gulf Breeze Bicyclist

1180083_bicycle_parking_2%20sxchu.jpgA Gulf Breeze woman was recently charged with reckless driving and leaving the scene of an injury accident after she allegedly struck a 31-year-old man riding his bicycle. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 19-year-old Debi Cummings was arrested nearly two hours after she struck Nicholas Medina from behind with a Chevrolet Cruze on U.S. Highway 98 in Santa Rosa County. Following the accident, Cummings reportedly left Medina in the road with a skull fracture and other injuries. Medina was transported to a local hospital about 30 minutes later after other motorists noticed him lying in the roadway.

A Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office deputy later discovered Debi Cummings’ father, Thomas, driving the Chevrolet and began questioning him. After the deputy learned Debi Cummings was operating the vehicle at the time of the accident, the deputy asked her father to call her and requested that she come in for questioning. According to her arrest report, Debi Cummings arrived at the station about two hours after the crash. Although Cummings allegedly smelled of alcohol and exhibited slurred speech when she arrived, her blood alcohol content was not formally tested. Consequently, Cummings was not charged with driving under the influence despite that she blew a .117 blood alcohol content on an unofficial device about an hour later at the Santa Rosa County Jail.

Lt. Steve Preston, a spokesperson for the Florida Highway Patrol, stated Cummings was not required to submit to a formal blood alcohol test due to the extended time period between the accident and her arrest. The trooper who handled her arrest stated the case was complicated by the fact that Cummings left the scene of the crash before officers arrived. Lt. Preston said even with a blood alcohol test, it would be difficult to prove that Cummings was driving under the influence when she allegedly hit Medina. Cummings reportedly admitted to a state trooper that she hit the bicyclist, but left the scene of the crash because she did not know what to do. She is currently free on a $10,000 bond.

The case is still being investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Attorney’s Office to determine whether Cummings will also be charged with driving under the influence. The investigation will purportedly focus on Cummings’ location immediately prior to the collision.

Every year, motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injuries in the State of Florida. The injuries sustained by anyone involved in an accident with a car can be life altering. A bicyclist who is hurt by a negligent or impaired driver may suffer from broken bones, spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. If you were hurt by a careless or intoxicated driver, contact a dedicated Miami car accident lawyer to help you protect your rights.

If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a bicycle or other accident, call Lazarus & Lazarus, P.A. at (954) 356-0006. Our hardworking Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident attorneys are available to ensure your rights are protected following an injury crash. Our law firm represents clients throughout Florida including Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Orlando, Miami, and Hollywood. We also represent clients in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. To discuss your personal injury case with a hardworking and caring lawyer, contact Lazarus & Lazarus through our website today.

More Blogs:

Two Separate High-Speed Boating Accidents Kill Three in Tavares During Spring Thunder Regatta, Florida Personal Injury Attorney Blog, March 21, 2012
Two Killed, Five Injured in Automobile Collision Near Boca Raton, Florida Personal Injury Attorney Blog, March 13, 2012
Additional Resources:

Suspect’s arrest hours after accident complicated making DUI case, by Thyrie Bland, Pensacola News Journal

Early-morning collision with cyclist brings charges, by Joe Culpepper, Gulf Breeze News