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Investigation Concludes That Distracted FHP Trooper Caused Fatal Crash

Posted on June 19, 2013

A 68-page report released by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) indicates that a FHP trooper is to blame for a February crash that seriously injured a woman and claimed the life of her unborn child. The report claims that the trooper had been using his in-car laptop just minutes before he rear-ended the vehicle the woman was a passenger in.

The report indicated that there would be no criminal charges pressed against the trooper, although he has been cited for careless driving. Personal injury attorney Chuck Farah has learned that while there are FHP restrictions concerning the use of cell phones by troopers while traveling in their vehicles, there is little in the way of constraints regarding the use of onboard computers.

The trooper had been driving an unmarked FHP vehicle on his way to an off-duty security detail at the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track when the accident occurred. He reportedly was traveling at between 79 to 88 miles per hour when he slammed into the other vehicle, which had been traveling about 63 mph.

The woman in the vehicle suffered punctured lungs and a fractured hip socket. Her pelvis and both her legs were crushed and her teeth were knocked out. Her husband suffered five broken ribs and a broken collarbone. Their one-year-old child was not injured in the crash.

The report stated that the accident contributed to the death of the woman’s unborn child.

According to News-Press.com, the couple has no insurance and has accumulated some $500,000 in medical bills. An attorney for the couple says that they are looking into legal action against FHP. Sovereign immunity laws may limit how much the couple can sue for. In the meantime, the law firm has set up an account at Well’s Fargo that will accept donations at any branch.

Chuck Farah offers condolences for the loss of the unborn child and hopes for a full recovery of the mother in this tragic, avoidable distracted driving accident. If you have been injured, or if you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or carelessness of another motorist, contact Farah & Farah in Jacksonville. We will aggressively seek compensation for damages to see that your family gets the justice it deserves.