On January 26th, 2016, two separate accidents occurred on State Road 528 near Dallas Rd. in Orlando, FL. Both auto accidents, which occurred around 4:30 p.m., were caused by a wrong-way driver heading west in the eastbound lanes. Fortunately, no one was injured.
The driver of the wrong-way vehicle was 78-year-old Arnold Whigham, also from Orlando. Wingham’s white GMC pickup truck drove for approximately 8 miles in the opposite direction of traffic, causing two vehicles to crash as they attempted to avoid hitting Whigham’s truck. Whigham was eventually stopped at Mile Marker 16 near the 417 Expressway by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper, and family members were called to the scene. Amazingly, neither of the two crashes that occurred actually involved a collision with the wrong-way vehicle.
According to Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Sergeant Kim Montes, the elderly driver will likely not be facing any criminal charges, as he was clearly disoriented and did not know where he was or what he was doing. In order to bring charges against a driver, said Sgt. Montes, the police must know that the driver knew what they were doing and knew that their actions were wrong. In this case, Whigham was not mentally capable of recognizing the danger of his situation. Authorities also stated that the driver’s daughters were very aware of the seriousness of the incident and agreed not to allow their father to have further access to a vehicle.
Sgt. Montes also emphasized to local news outlets the importance of focusing on one’s own driving and acting defensively in the case that one is faced with a wrong-way driver. While the state of Florida does employ some experimental detectors to alert the Florida Highway Patrol to the threat of wrong-way drivers, Whigham unfortunately entered the expressway at a point where such technology was not installed. Thanks to the evasive maneuvers of the eastbound drivers and the fact that the incident occurred in daylight, the damage was far less than it could have been.
If you’ve been injured in a wrong-way driver accident or are a family member dealing with the death of a loved one, you may be dealing with significant medical bills, legal concerns, and mental and emotional stress. During this difficult time, you may have difficulty knowing where to turn. For nearly 40 years, the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. have been helping victims of severe Orlando car accidents deal with their cases and fight for their legal rights. Call 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) at your earliest convenience to set up a free initial consultation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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