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.
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Former NFL Star Lawrence Taylor Involved in South Florida Hit-and-Run

The Miami Herald reported this week that NFL legend Lawrence Taylor was arrested on Sunday night for leaving the scene of an auto accident in Miami-Dade. The 50-year-old former New York Giants pass rusher was released around 9:57 p.m. on $500 bond.

The crash occurred around 6:30 p.m. on the Palmetto Expressway at Northwest 103rd Street when Taylor hit a 1984 Ford van, tearing off the front tire of his Cadillac Escalade and sending the van spinning in front of the Escalade. According to authorities, he drove about two miles on his axle before pulling off to the side of the road. Police spotted Taylor outside of his car on his cell phone. He told police that he thought he hit a guardrail.

Taylor is an NFL Hall of Famer, known for his power and tenacity as a linebacker for the New York Giants. He has considered by many as one of the greatest defensive players of all time and is no stranger to the limelight. Taylor has acted in films such as The Waterboy and Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday, and recently competed in the eight season of ABC’s popular dance show Dancing with the Stars. He owns a house in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Though his successful career in the NFL was at times marred by admitted drug use and arrest for possession, Lt. James Durden of the Florida Highway Patrol said that Taylor showed no signs of impairment and was not given a sobriety test. Thankfully, no one was injured in the auto accident.

Broward County Officer Victim of Hit-and-Run Injury

On Sunday, September 28, Officer Elijah Rodgers of Lauderhill, Florida was released from Broward General Medical Center after suffering injuries from a hit-and-run driver, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Officer Rodgers has worked with the Lauderhill Police for four years. He was conducting a routine traffic stop on Thursday around 3:40 in the afternoon at NW 25th Court and 52nd Avenue. The driver of the vehicle, however, took off, striking and injuring Rodgers. Luckily, Rodgers suffered no broken bones and is recovering at home. Rodgers got a look at the driver’s tag number while on the ground, memorized it, and gave the information to other officers. The driver was found and arrested an hour later.

The driver, Charles Anderson, of North Miami, will face charges, including failing to stop or yield at an intersection, aggravated battery on an officer and driving with an invalid license.

A hit-and-run accident in Florida is a serious offense, punishable by very strict explicit laws. Florida’s laws create a duty to drivers involved in an accident to stop at the scene, among other requirements. Violation of these laws may result in criminal charges and civil suit, a jail sentence, and community service. Some of the Florida statutes on hit-and-run accidents can be found on, a website dedicated to victims of hit-and-run deaths and injuries.

In a previous blog entitled

South Florida Hit and Run and Drunk Drivers

Within the past few weeks the police in the Fort Lauderale area have been investigating two instances of pedestrians being injured in vehicular accidents. In the first instance, law enforcement is attempting to locate a car that a surveillance camera caught hitting a pedestrian, Marshall Clinton, 51,and then driving away. The crash happened about 11 p.m. Friday, May 23, 2008 as Mr. Chilton crossed the street. Marshall Chilton, 51, was admitted in the hospital with broken bones and is expected to recover.

In a second incident in Fort Lauderdale, a man is accused of killing a woman, Ms.Kathleen Gosnell, 60, and injuring Mr. Raymond Haruben, 63, after striking them with his vehicle on Thursday, May 22, 2008. Toxicology reports confirmed that he was Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI). Steven Kopson, 53, of Fort Lauderdale, was charged with manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol, among several charges.

Both these incidents raise the question, “If I am a pedestrian in an accident who was struck by a hit and run driver- who will pay for the treatment and pain and suffering I have sustained through no fault of my own?” The answer is that even though you are a pedestrian, your own PIP and UIM insurance will ensure that you are fully protected and covered for your injuries even though you weren’t driving your vehicle at the time.

The importance of PIP coverage and UIM coverage on your automobile policies is especially important when you are a pedestrian and you you are struck by a hit and run driver. It is in that instance that your own insurance coverage is there to protect you. Your PIP Insurance or Personal Injury Protection Insurance will cover the first $10,000.00 of your medical bills and your UIM Insurance will afford you coverage for everything over and above the first $10,000.00 up to the limits you choose.

What if your injuries are serious and you need treatment well over and above $10,000.00 and what about pain and suffering, wrongful death and lost or diminished capacity to earn a living? UIM coverage is the only coverage that will protect you if the party at fault in an accident either is unknown, has no Bodily Injury coverage (which is not required in the State of Florida) or has a minimal amount of Bodily Insurance Coverage. In effect you can seek compensation for your injuries and damages from your own insurance company should any of these circumstances occur, but only if you have UIM Insurance coverage.

If you would like to read further about this issue, we have addressed the Florida UIM and PIP Insurance issue in a previous article on our blog entitled: “Florida No-Fault, Med Pay and UIM Insurance” dated May 12, 2008. It is our hope that all Florida drivers will contact their insurance agents and demand a quote for UIM coverage on their policies. That way, should the unfortunate happen and you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver or underinsured driver, you won’t have to worry about your financial future being decimated by medical bills.

If you have any questions about these issues please feel free to call our offices. We want every Florida driver to be aware and informed about their right to protect themselves through proper and FULL automobile insurance coverage.