Articles Posted in DUI Car Accidents

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, a pedestrian was struck and killed Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. on 9th Ave. N.

The driver who hit him was charged with DUI manslaughter.

Officials believe the pedestrian, a 72-year-old school crossing guard, was setting up his school zone cones when he was hit by a vehicle.

A witness said a silver Toyota Scion was driving erratically and hit a pickup truck before hitting the man.

The driver also hit a school zone sign and a small tree and kept going several blocks, police said.

The man was pronounced dead at the hospital. He had been a crossing guard for three years. No one else was injured in the accident.

The driver of the Toyota, a 21-year-old man, was charged with DUI manslaughter.

DUI accidents are 100% preventable. Driving while intoxicated hinders a driver’s ability to safely execute the many tasks that can arise on the road. Regardless, many motorists still choose to carelessly get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

A whopping 39% of traffic deaths each year are alcohol related. On that same notes, more than half a million people are injured every year as a result of drunk driving accidents. These numbers include auto accidents and pedestrian accidents.

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury or wrongful death because of a drunk driving accident, our Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton will fight for your rights and aggressively pursue the damages you deserve. Drinking and driving is no accident, let us help you understand what steps to take next.

Continue reading

A 45-year-old woman who drove the wrong way on a north Tampa roadway and caused a crash is now facing DUI charges.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the woman was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes on West Linebaugh Avenue just before 10 p.m. Friday.

Deputies believe the woman’s car then collided with another vehicle in the intersection of Linebaugh Avenue West and Race Track Road.  

Both drivers suffered minor injuries in the crash, but neither driver was transported to the hospital.

The woman was suspected of being under the influence and was subsequently evaluated and arrested for being impaired.

She is facing charges of DUI with property damage or personal injury.

Wrong way collisions occur when a driver is confused or just unaware of the road they are turning on. With that said, it makes sense that a good amount of these accidents involve drunk drivers.

Wrong way collision statistics are pretty staggering:

  • Nearly 360 people lose their lives every year in wrong-way collisions.
  • 22 percent of wrong way collisions resulted in fatalities.
  • Nearly 60 percent of wrong way drivers are impaired by alcohol.
  • Nearly 80 percent of wrong-way accidents occur at night (between 6pm and 6am).
  • Wrong-way accidents are more likely to occur on weekends.

Wrong way driving accidents are not the most common types of collisions, but they are certainly some of the most deadly. Wrong way accidents usually involve head-on collisions and frequently occur on high-speed roadways.

Continue reading

A Tampa man was arrested and charged with DUI after a head-on traffic crash late Saturday night.

Deputies believe the 36-year-old crashed head-on into another vehicle while driving southbound in the northbound lanes on Anderson Road near Hoover Boulevard at approximately 11:15 p.m.

One person suffered minor injuries and was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital.

The man was suspected of being under the influence and a breath test was submitted resulting in a BAC of .173/.168.

The man was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (over .15) and No Valid Driver’s License.

The Tampa area has seen an unusually high number of wrong way collisions recently. Sometimes knowing what to do in these situations can be the difference between life or death. The following tips can help you and your loved ones stay safe on Tampa highways.

  • Many wrong-way drivers are on the wrong-side of the road because they are intoxicated. If you have time to react, flash your lights to try and get their attention.
  • Swerve to the right to help avoid a collision with a wrong-way driver. You will often see wrong-way drivers entering the freeway veering to their right side of the road, or in the fast lane because they think it is the slower traffic lane. If you veer to your right this could prevent a terrible tragedy from occurring.
  • Stay alert, keep your head up, look ahead on the interstate at least a quarter of a mile so that you can give yourself time to try to see a wrong-way driver that could be coming your way.
  • Most wrong way collisions result in head-on crashes and sideswipe accidents. Always wear your seatbelt, as this could keep you alive in the event an unfortunate crash cannot be prevented.
  • Call the cops immediately If you see a driver going the wrong way! Try and report as many facts as you can, such as the year, make, model, location, direction, and license plate number, if possible.

Continue reading

There were more than 1,400 wrong way crashes in FL in 2015, resulting in 1,454 injuries & 96 fatalities, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Wrong way driving collisions occur when a vehicle has failed to observe a posted traffic sign or pavement marking and proceeds in a lane travelling in the wrong direction.

Motorists are encouraged to stay in the right lane to avoid a crash with a wrong way driver, especially at night and during transitional light times such as dawn and dusk. In most wrong way wrecks, vehicles are hit head-on, resulting in 81 percent of all wrong way fatalities. Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous crashes, and sadly, result in the most fatalities.

The FLHSMV offers the following safety tips for drivers to avoid a wrong way driving crash:

  • Stay Right at Night to avoid crashes with wrong way drivers.
  • Call 911 right away to report wrong way drivers. If you see a wrong way driver approaching, you should reduce your speed right away and pull off the roadway.
  • Stay alert. Do not drive distracted and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Learn and obey all traffic signs. If you drive past a wrong way sign, turn around immediately. When you see a posted red sign, think about what red traffic sign colors are for: “Stop.” “Do Not Enter.” “Wrong Way.” Orange is used for construction and maintenance warnings. Yellow is for a general warning and advisory of unexpected roadways conditions. Fluorescent Yellow Green is for added emphasis warnings of school, pedestrian and bicycling activities. White/Black are regulatory signs, such as “Left Lane Must Turn Left.” Green signs are for guide or directional information. Blue signs are for motorist services guidance and to identify parking spaces or disabled drivers. Brown signs are reserved for areas of public recreation, cultural and historical significance.

Continue reading

The Fourth of July is the perfect time to enjoy food, fun, and maybe a few drinks with family and friends. Whether you’re attending a fireworks show or hitting the bars, Tampa is the perfect place to celebrate America’s Birthday.

The sad truth is that Independance Day is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year. Fireworks, hot grills, traffic, and other hazards can cause serious injuries or even death. Drunk driving rates spike over the July Fourth weekend.

The best way to prevent injuries and deaths this holiday weekend is to follow the below safety tips:

Do Not Drink And Drive

The best way to avoid a DUI collision is to stay sober if you will be getting behind the wheel of a car. Too many people believe they can operate a vehicle safely after a few drinks, but the truth is that driving under the influence puts your life, your passengers’ lives, and the lives of others sharing the road at risk, so do not chance it.  

Look Out For Possible Drunk Drivers

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, police use more than 100 visual cues to identify drunk drivers. Knowing the signs can help you to avoid a DUI crash. Some of the cues include:

  • Swerving
  • Almost hitting an object in the road
  • Stopping well before or after a stop line
  • Not using headlights at night
  • Using the wrong turn signal
  • Parking too far from a curb
  • Abnormal accelerating and braking patterns

Use Lyft Or Uber

Both Uber and Lyft operate in the Tampa Bay area. If you intend to drink or if your DD gets drunk, use a taxi or rideshare service to get to your destination. You can even split the fare with your friends. Even if you are riding alone, the cost of a ride home safe  is much cheaper than a DUI.

Continue reading

A 29-year-old Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy was arrested and charged with DUI and leaving the scene of a crash after deputies say he caused an accident driving the wrong way.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the man was driving southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 at 3:30 a.m. Friday when his Ford Explorer struck a semi-truck.

The crash happened near the Hillsborough-Manatee county line. There were no injuries in the crash.

Troopers believe the man drove off in his heavily damaged SUV, but abandoned the vehicle on the inside shoulder of I-75 at Mile Marker 232. A short time after discovering the damaged vehicle, troopers apparently found the man on the west side of the roadway attempting to hide, authorities said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed the man is a District IV deputy, employed with HCSO since October 2011.

He has been suspended without pay pending an internal investigation.

When you are driving, there are few things more terrifying than seeing the headlights of another vehicle coming towards you head-on. A car driving towards you the wrong way can cause you to panic, whether you are on a road or interstate. Crashes frequently occur from wrong way driving and usually result in fatalities. Sadly, in the Tampa Bay area and the rest of Florida, these types of accidents seem to be on the rise.

Continue reading

A Ruskin woman has been charged with driving under the influence after deputies believe she caused a crash going the wrong-way with a toddler in her vehicle.

On Monday night, two Hillsborough County deputies were traveling northbound in the inside lane of 50th Street South in the area of Habersham Lane when they say they saw a small sedan driving southbound in the northbound lane.

According to reports, they conducted an evasive maneuver to avoid a collision with the small sedan but ended up hitting a small blue pickup as a result. After checking on that driver, they made a U-turn and caught up to the small sedan as it was approaching the intersection of 50th Street South and Causeway Boulevard.

Deputies conducted a traffic stop on the 31-year-old woman, during which they observed several signs of impairment. Deputies also noted that there was a toddler inside the vehicle.

Child Protection investigators responded and took custody of the child.

The woman was arrested for DUI. She has multiple suspensions to her Florida driver’s license for prior DUI offenses, as well as several non-extraditable warrants from other jurisdictions.

Additional charges are pending.

While not all wrong-way accidents are caused by intoxicated drivers, many of them are. It is easy for an intoxicated driver to not see signs or to not realize the consequences of entering a one-way street in the wrong direction.

Continue reading

A pedestrian was killed Saturday night in Brandon after being hit by a Jeep , according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident happened around 11:30 p.m. along Parsons Avenue South.

Deputies believe the 44-year-old pedestrian crossed Parsons Ave. into the direct path of a Jeep for unknown reasons.

The woman was struck and thrown to the east shoulder of the roadway. She died at the scene.

The driver, a 30-year-old woman, told investigators she did not see the pedestrian until she was right in front of the vehicle.

Investigators believe the woman may have been intoxicated at the time.

No other details have been released.

Drivers who have consumed alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car are more likely to make poor decisions and less likely to adjust to any abrupt changes in traffic conditions. Alcohol can affect your judgment, impair your motor functions and alter your depth perception, which is why a good amount of Tampa Bay DUI crashes result in very serious or fatal injuries.

If a drunk driver has killed someone you love, it is imperative to act quickly in order to ensure that they are held responsible for your losses. When a loved one is killed, the surviving family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

It is important to understand that even if the driver responsible for your loss is convicted for drunk driving, it will not automatically result in a financial settlement. Our Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton will help protect your rights and make sure that you are offered fair and full compensation for your losses.

Continue reading

A 26-year-old man is dead after he was hit by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle in Tampa.

The crash happened at 12:34 a.m. on Dale Mabry Highway near the intersection with Cypress Street.

Police the victim, from Wesley Chapel, was riding his 2002 Yamaha motorcycle south when a 1997 Chevrolet pick-up truck made a left turn in front of him.

The man was declared dead at the scene. Police said Wednesday was his 26th birthday.

The driver of the truck, a 37-year-old Tampa man, showed signs of impairment, so police arrested him on charges of DUI manslaughter. His blood was drawn and submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

When a motorist makes the choice to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they place everyone sharing the roadway with them in serious danger. While a DUI is a criminal offense that is punished in criminal court, this does nothing to compensate motorcycle accident injury victims or the families of those who have lost loved ones in these types of accidents.

The drunk driver can actually be held financially liable for any injuries, damages and losses suffered by a victim or their family. Victims of motorcycle DUI crashes that survive often suffer severe physical injuries in addition to financial stress and emotional grief. Family members who have lost loved ones in drunk driving crashes might be struggling to pay the bills and provide for their families. Motorcycle DUI injury victims and the families of those killed can seek compensation for their losses, including medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, funeral expenses, future income and pain and suffering.

Continue reading

For most, Labor Day weekend symbolizes the unofficial end of summer. As a three-day weekend, this gives many Americans the chance to celebrate with friends and family one more time before fall comes around and the weather gets cooler. Whether you plan on taking one last road trip for a weekend getaway or staying home and celebrating with family and friends, the Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you and your loved ones to stay safe!

Labor Day Weekend has a high rate of preventable accidents, injuries, and deaths, both on the roadways and at homes across Tampa Bay and the rest of the country. To help you and your loved ones stay safe this holiday weekend, our Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers have compiled a few helpful safety tips:

  • Roadway Safety AAA anticipates that nearly 35 million Americans will travel this Labor Day weekend. With this many people on the road, it is very important to remember roadway safety, obey traffic laws and to always stay alert and avoid distractions when behind the wheel.
  • Vehicle Safety – Along with obeying the rules of the road, it is equally important to make sure your vehicle is safe for travel. Check your vehicle’s fluids, brakes and lights before going on a trip. It is recommended to take your vehicle in for a quick inspection before you head out of town. If you have an older vehicle, you may want to consider renting a car with up-to-date safety features for your road trip.
  • Water & Pool Safety Because Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, pool parties and water activities are common. Make sure that all children are always supervised around and in the water.
  • BBQ Safety Tips – Labor Day weekend and barbecues go hand in hand. If you are planning on an outdoor grilling party, make sure that your grille is properly cleaned to avoid grease fires. Also, make sure to grill in a safe area away from structures, furniture and other flammable hazards. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and have a safety plan ready in place your barbecue goes awry.
  • Drink Responsibly – Holiday weekends, like Labor Day, see some of the highest rates of alcohol-related accidents and injuries than any other time of year, especially on roads and highways. If you plan on drinking, please do so responsibly and plan a safe ride home. Remember, police will be on high alert for motorists driving under the influence, so do not drink and drive.

Continue reading

Contact Information