Oakland Park, Florida Teenager Killed in Hit-and-Run Accident While Riding His Bicycle

1356569_bicycle_macro%20sxchu.jpgThe Broward County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for any information related to a fatal hit-and-run bicycle accident in June in Oakland Park. On June 14th, 17-year-old Gabriel Amaya was struck by a dark sport utility vehicle while headed east along Prospect Road on his bicycle. Amaya was hit in a crosswalk near Powerline Road just after dark. The force of the impact reportedly threw the boy into the roadway. The driver who hit Amaya allegedly continued on before he stopped a short distance down the road and got out of the vehicle. The driver then got back into the SUV and fled the scene of the crash. Amaya died as a result of his injuries while en route to the Broward Health Medical Center.

Law enforcement officers would reportedly like to question 37-year-old Christopher Thompson of Oakland Park about the case. Thompson may be driving a black 1995 Chevy Tahoe with extensive damage to the left side mirror, grill, and headlight. Although Thompson purportedly lives near the scene of the fatal accident, his neighbors stated they had not seen the man for several days when questioned by police. According to law enforcement officials, Thompson has a criminal record as he was previously arrested on drug possession charges.

A large percentage of bicycle accidents are caused by careless and inattentive drivers who fail to notice or yield to bicyclists. Unfortunately, a bicycle rider is no match for even a small car, much less a sport utility vehicle. Sadly, injuries that are caused by a bicycle accident are often catastrophic. Many bike accidents also result in a victim’s tragic and untimely death. Because of the severity of most accidents, it is important for riders to ensure their bicycle is well maintained and to wear both a helmet and reflective clothing. Additionally, bicycle riders should always obey all traffic signs and signals.

No matter how careful a bike rider is, an accident with a car cannot always be avoided. Common injuries sustained by victims in a bicycle accident can include traumatic brain injuries, fractures, spinal cord injuries, permanent disability, and even wrongful death. Due to the severity of most injuries, the medical costs associated with a cycling accident can be quite high. If you were hurt by a negligent driver while riding your bicycle, you should contact a skilled South Florida car accident lawyer to help you recover damages for your injuries.
Read more “Oakland Park, Florida Teenager Killed in Hit-and-Run Accident While Riding His Bicycle”

Two Killed, Several Injured in Five Vehicle Crash Near Tampa

494062_that_hurt%20sxchu.jpgIn June, two people were killed in a five vehicle accident on State Road 54 in Odessa. 16-year-old Matthew Capelo-Fine of Trinity was driving a BMW Sedan east towards Lake Polo Drive when he unexpectedly lost control of the car and skid across a median. After he crossed the median, Capelo-Fine struck a westbound Hyundai carrying five people. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Capelo-Fine’s sedan began to spin following the initial crash. Capelo-Fine’s vehicle then hit a PT Cruiser that was sent spinning into the Hyundai he collided with initially. Meanwhile Capelo-Fine’s BMW continued on to strike a Nissan Altima. A nearby Chevy Impala also received damage to its windshield when it was struck by flying debris.

Unfortunately, Capelo-Fine died at the scene of the accident. 91-year-old Anna Davis, 13-year-old Collene Carberry, 15-year-old Jilly Horaneck, and the driver of the Hyundai, 71-year-old Joseph Furphy, were transported by rescue crews to Tampa General Hospital where Davis later died. Both Furphy and Horaneck reportedly suffered serious injuries in the crash and Carberry received only minor injuries. Although the cause of the collision is still under investigation, alcohol is reportedly not a suspected factor in the accident.

In Florida, we often spend countless hours in our automobiles every week. Unfortunately, with so many drivers and passengers on the roads, motor vehicle collisions are a fact of life. Every year, auto collisions are one of the leading causes of personal injury and death in the State of Florida. Injuries sustained in a car accident may be minor or they may be catastrophic. Car crashes are frequently caused by inattentive or inexperienced drivers, defective vehicles, weather, road debris, speeding, fatigue, and aggressive or impaired driving. If you or a loved one was injured through no fault of your own in a motor vehicle accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and any resulting disability. If you were hurt or lost a loved one on a Florida roadway, you should contact an experienced Florida car accident lawyer to help you file a claim against the negligent party.
Read more “Two Killed, Several Injured in Five Vehicle Crash Near Tampa”

Bond Set for Driver Accused of Fleeing Florida After Striking Pedestrian Near the University of Miami

1375248_untitled%20sxchu.jpgA University of Miami freshman was left in a coma after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Miami. 19-year-old Eliza Gresh was hit by a silver Mercedes Benz while crossing a road near her school on April 27th. The force of the impact reportedly threw Gresh onto the vehicle’s hood before the driver fled the scene of the accident. Miami Police Major Rene Lansa stated that another driver attempted to follow the Mercedes, but stopped pursuing it once the alleged hit-and-run driver reached speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour.

Gresh is currently in the intensive care unit at a local hospital where she is being treated for broken bones and a traumatic head injury. According to her parents, despite that Gresh still remains in a coma, she is beginning to show small improvements.

About one week after the crash, the alleged hit-and-run driver, 24-year old Luis Felipe Moya, took the Mercedes to a Hialeah body shop for repairs. He reportedly told the shop’s owner, Gabriel Antonio Castro, that he had accidentally struck a wall. He also stated his mother, Zoila, owned the vehicle and because of that he preferred she file the automobile insurance claim. According to Castro, there were numerous red flags indicating the driver was being untruthful with him after he examined the damage to the vehicle. Castro also stated the man driving the car answered his questions in an evasive manner. Convinced he recognized the Mercedes from a news story about the hit-and-run accident, Castro immediately notified police of his suspicions. Following the tip from Castro, law enforcement officers took Moya’s mother into custody and charged her with insurance fraud. On June 5th, Moya was arrested in New York.

Following his arrest, Moya’s bond was set at $250,000. The Miami judge also stated that if Moya is able to post bond, he will be placed on house arrest. Moya has reportedly received at least 42 traffic citations over the past five years, including both careless and reckless driving violations.

Students like Gresh, as well as skateboarders, joggers, tourists, and parents walking with strollers are all at risk of being injured in a Florida pedestrian accident. Too often, pedestrian crashes could have been avoided if a driver had not acted carelessly or negligently. Common injuries sustained in such an accident include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, a permanent disability such as paralysis, and even wrongful death.

Due to the severity of most injuries, the medical costs associated with a pedestrian accident can be astronomical. If you or a loved one was hurt by a careless driver, contact a qualified Florida car accident lawyer to discuss your rights as soon as you are able.
Read more “Bond Set for Driver Accused of Fleeing Florida After Striking Pedestrian Near the University of Miami”

Medical Negligence Lawsuit Filed Over Death of Palm Harbor Girl

1033916_medical_instruments_3%20sxchu.jpgIn May, the parents of a 12-year-old Palm Harbor girl who died following a routine tonsillectomy filed a medical negligence lawsuit against Mease Countryside Hospital in Pinellas County Circuit Court. According to the suit, Carly Jane Liptak died after the hospital and several medical professionals made a series of mistakes and provided the child with a dangerous mix of drugs. Liptak’s parents have asked the court to award them damages for mental anguish, medical costs, and funeral expenses.

On August 13, 2010, Liptak had her tonsils removed at the hospital’s outpatient facility. According to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office, she suffered from a pulmonary embolism and cardiac arrest during the surgery. Liptak’s mother, Elisa, stated although the hospital told her the operation would only take about 25 minutes, her daughter was in surgery for more than three hours. Following her surgery, Liptak was transported to All Children’s Hospital where she remained on life support until she died two days later. The Medical Examiner stated Liptak died from natural causes as a result of complications related to her tonsillectomy.

According to the Liptaks’ lawsuit, the surgery team removed both of their daughter’s tonsils despite that she showed signs of distress while the first tonsil was being removed. The couple also accused the hospital of using a questionable type and dosage of local anesthetic combined with epinephrine on their daughter. The suit alleges the combination increased Liptak’s heart rate at the same time that doctors administered two additional drugs. The alleged result was damage to the child’s heart and fluid in her lungs. The couple believes their daughter drowned in her own fluids as a result of the drug combination. The hospital is also accused of using poor resuscitation methods on Liptak. According to Liptak’s parents, their main goal in filing the suit is to ensure that no one else’s child is given the same drugs used on their daughter.

Florida hospitals, doctors, and nurses have a duty to provide patients with a reasonable standard of care. When a patient is injured or killed because a medical professional failed to provide proper care, the victim or the victim’s family may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Florida, those injured by a health care provider have up to two years to file a malpractice claim. Insurance companies also have up to two years to assess such a claim before a lawsuit may be filed. Because of this, it is important for an injured patient to consult with a knowledgeable South Florida medical malpractice attorney immediately following any act of negligence by a medical professional.
Read more “Medical Negligence Lawsuit Filed Over Death of Palm Harbor Girl”

Small Plane Crash Near Lake Wales Kills Family of Six

1015353_fumigation_airplane%20sxchu.jpgIn early June, a family of six was killed after a small plane crashed unexpectedly in Polk County, Florida. The family was returning home to Kansas in a 2006 Pilatus Pc-12/47 plane following their vacation in the Bahamas when the aircraft reportedly began to break apart at 25,000 feet in the air. Those killed included the 45-year-old pilot, Ron Bramblage, His 43-year-old wife, Rebecca, and the couple’s four children who were between the ages of eight and 15.

According to safety investigators, the pilot issued a mayday after the right wing became unattached midair. Witnesses stated the aircraft began to spin as it descended into the Tiger Creek Swamp near Lake Wales, Florida. The debris field reportedly spanned approximately four miles of rough terrain. Tragically, one of the family’s teenage children was reportedly thrown from the aircraft before it hit the ground. His body was later found by members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission about half a mile from the crash site.

Helicopters were used to locate wreckage from the air. Swamp buggies, all terrain vehicles, and horses were later used in order to reach the area and gather crash debris. According to Tim Monville, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, the cause of the crash is still unknown. He stated that a large piece of the wing is still missing and it could take up to one year to complete the accident investigation. Monville said reconstructing the plane will likely be required in order to determine the exact cause of the crash.

Unfortunately, aviation accidents like this one are normally tragic and there are rarely any survivors. When an aircraft accident victim survives, the injuries sustained are often permanently disabling and extremely costly to treat. Negligence resulting from aircraft malfunctions or defects, pilot error, poor aircraft maintenance, or air traffic control errors cause most aviation accidents. Sometimes, more than one party negligently contributes to an aircraft crash. Additionally, large commercial airlines, or common carriers, must provide passengers with a higher standard of care than other aircraft operators.

If you or a loved one was hurt or killed while riding in a charter plane, private jet, helicopter, commercial airliner, or in any other aircraft, you should contact a skilled Florida aviation accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for recovery.
Read more “Small Plane Crash Near Lake Wales Kills Family of Six”

Nine Passengers Ejected, Three Injured in Florida After Vessel Hits Clearwater Rock Jetty

1155487_beach_jetty%20sxchu.jpgNine people were rescued by the United States Coast Guard in Clearwater Pass, Florida over Memorial Day weekend after a 21-foot pleasure boat hit a rock jetty. According to the Coast Guard, the vessel struck the jetty while traveling at about 20 miles per hour early Sunday morning. All nine passengers on the boat were reportedly thrown into the water by the force of the impact. Another boat notified the Coast Guard of the accident around 3 o’clock in the morning. Rescuers discovered all nine passengers stranded on the jetty.

A representative for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission stated three passengers were taken to Morton Plant Hospital and Largo Medical Center for injuries sustained in the southwest Florida boat accident. The remaining passengers were taken to Station Sand Key where the driver of the boat purportedly passed a field sobriety test. The driver of the vessel was later ticketed for failing to maintain a proper lookout. The watercraft sustained a large hole in the bottom as a result of the collision and was reportedly a total loss. The accident is currently under investigation by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission.

Luckily, no one involved in this particular crash sustained life-threatening injuries. Every year, however, many deaths in Florida stem from avoidable watercraft accidents. Because South Florida offers many wonderful boating spots, people tend to spend a great deal of time on the water. Due to the associated safety risks, all boaters should follow established safety guidelines and rules. Watercraft owners and drivers have a legal responsibility to protect themselves, their vessel, and their passengers.

If you lost a loved one in a Florida watercraft accident, you may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person who caused your loss. Normally, you may sue for a family member’s wrongful death following a fatal accident caused by someone else’s recklessness, carelessness, or negligence. In Florida, relatives generally have up to two years to file a wrongful death claim unless the claim is against a cruise ship.

If you lost a family member in a cruise ship accident, you may be limited to filing a lawsuit within one year of the accident based on the passenger ticket. If you have lost a loved one in a boating or other watercraft accident, you should contact an experienced South Florida wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.
Read more “Nine Passengers Ejected, Three Injured in Florida After Vessel Hits Clearwater Rock Jetty”

Three Killed, 12 Hurt in Volusia County Rollover Accident

869866_crash_car%20sxchu%20website.jpgIn early June, three people were killed and 12 others were injured on Interstate 95 in Volusia County when the driver of a 15-passenger van lost control and left the roadway. 57-year-old Vilbrun Bertrand of West Palm Beach was driving a group of Haitian migrant farm workers to New Jersey for the blueberry harvesting season when one of the van’s tires separated north of Ormond Beach. According to Sgt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol, the van rolled repeatedly and several passengers were thrown from the vehicle.

Three passengers who were not wearing seat belts, Benitoh Delice, Sonja Maubrun, and Berteau Nazaire, died at the scene of the crash. Two other passengers were taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in critical condition. Nine additional passengers were taken to four different Central Florida hospitals for their injuries. Bertrand, who was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, was treated for only minor injuries.

Sgt. Montes stated there was visible damage to the van’s tire and the vehicle itself was significantly damaged in the accident. Although alcohol is not a suspected factor in the crash, the Central Florida automobile accident is currently under investigation. According to Sgt. Montes, a language barrier made the accident investigation difficult. State Troopers reportedly required the assistance of translators to interview the injured passengers at each of the four area hospitals.

Unfortunately, the van crash was the second fatal accident on Interstate 95 in Volusia County in a single weekend. On the previous day, a 40-year-old Titusville man was killed when his stranded vehicle was run over in the shoulder of the roadway by an 18-wheeler tanker carrying liquid nitrogen.

Automobile accidents cause a large percentage of the Florida wrongful death and personal injury claims filed every year. Tourists, students, and commuters risk being hurt in a car accident every day on Florida roadways. Some common causes of motor vehicle crashes include speeding, driver impairment, poor road conditions, driver inattention, and automobile defects. In Florida, those hurt in an automobile collision are eligible to receive compensation from a driver’s mandatory Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to cover the first $10,000.00 in medical treatment. Oftentimes, however, PIP insurance is not sufficient to cover the immediate medical costs associated with recovering from a catastrophic injury as well as the costs of future medical treatment and a lifetime of pain and suffering. It is a good idea to contact a qualified Florida car crash attorney to discuss your options for recovery following any injury accident.
Read more “Three Killed, 12 Hurt in Volusia County Rollover Accident”