Scooters are an inexpensive mode of transportation and are commonly used on the streets of Florida. They get excellent gas mileage and are easy to operate and maintain. For these reasons, sales generally increase when gas prices are high. They increased nearly 50 percent due to record setting gas prices in 2009.
More so, scooters can also be dangerous to operate. They are low to the ground and can often be difficult to see when they are operated on a public highway. The use of a motor scooter is made more dangerous when someone is drinking and driving and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.
On January 17, a drunk motorist hit and killed a motor scooter rider and fled the scene, according to media reports. Law enforcement officials say Michael Mallia was riding a motor scooter on the 2500 block of Shepherd Road around 12:50 a.m. Lorenzo Martinez was driving a Lincoln Navigator on the same road. Martinez struck Mallia with the Navigator and carried the scooter 150 feet before Mallia was ejected. He was wearing a helmet and landed around 200 feet from the point of impact. The helmet was ripped off Mallia’s head during the accident. Mallia was pronounced dead at the scene.
Martinez fled the scene and dumped the vehicle at an apartment complex, law enforcement officials said. The incident was captured on a video camera at the apartment complex. Martinez was located later that evening and officers smelled alcohol on his breath. He failed a field sobriety test and was arrested. A blood sample was taken and has been sent to a lab for analysis.
Martinez is charged with driving while his license was suspended or revoked causing death, DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash involving death. It is not Martinez’s first brush with the law. Law enforcement officials say Martinez has been charged with having an invalid driver’s license, resisting arrest and possessing marijuana and paraphernalia previously. Martinez’s license was suspended in 2013.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida auto accident, contact us today at the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. immediately at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for 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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