Panic is a common reaction when a driver thinks that he has struck another vehicle or a pedestrian, and flight is too often the behavior that ensues. Unfortunately, flight often worsens the situation for the driver. In a recent example of this phenomenon, the Florida Highway Patrol announced the arrest of a man they allege fled the scene of a fatal collision involving a bicycle rider in Orlando in June.
The suspect was driving along a street in Orlando when he thought he hit a construction barrel. Police are alleging that the suspect instead hit a man riding a bicycle, not a construction barrel. Police say that no construction barrels were found in the vicinity of the accident. The body of the bike rider was found after the accident in a water-filled ditch. Police made a tentative identification of the driver by viewing surveillance videos of the scene and also by using information provided by an anonymous tip. The suspect surrendered to police at the Highway Patrol's Cocoa office.
Police are also alleging that the suspect was driving with a suspended license. He was booked into the Brevard County Jail Complex. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident that involved a fatality and driving with the suspended license and causing a death. If convicted, the suspect would face a sentence of four to thirty years' imprisonment.
Persons who find themselves in serious legal trouble after they have fled the scene of a serious or fatal accident may benefit from consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable defense attorney can offer an evaluation of the evidence, suggest potential defense strategies and assist in negotiation of a favorable plea agreement.