Last Monday, 27-year-old Kissimmee resident Massengale was driving down Sand Lake Road when he crashed into the side of a school bus at close to 5:00 in the evening. At the time of the collision, no students were aboard the bus, a fact which likely saved numerous individuals, specifically children, from injuries or worse. When officers with the Florida Highway Patrol and the Orange County Fire Rescue arrived at the scene, they found that Massengale appeared to be under the influence of narcotics. Additionally, drugs and drug related items—including a needle still clutched in Massengale’s hand—were found inside of the car.
Members of the fire rescue team treated Massengale with the drug Narcan, which is used to treat overdoses. Statements from various witnesses to the incident led authorities to believe that at the time when Massengale struck the bus he was not conscious.
Sgt. Kim Montes, spokesperson for the Florida Highway Patrol, said that the accident took place at the intersection of Sand Lake Road and John Young Parkway. The bus and Massengale were traveling in different directions and, it seems, were both attempting to turn left across the other’s lane. While this should not have resulted in any difficulties, Massengale failed to navigate the turn fully and instead slammed into the side of the bus.
Subsequent tests on a white powder found within Massengale’s car revealed it to be an illegal narcotic. When he was interviewed in the hospital, Massengale told the investigating officers that he could not recall any of the details relating to the crash. When the hospital found him well enough for release, he was handed over to the police and transferred to the Orange County Jail.
This is just the latest incident in Orange County involving opioid overdoses and vehicles. Montes indicated in her statement that she feared an uptick in crashes relating to opioids will begin to occur as a result of what she sees as an “opioid epidemic.” Because the drivers who are suffering from the drug overdose are often unconscious, the resulting accidents are more deadly and dangerous than if the person behind the wheel were able to try and ameliorate the crash in any way.
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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