When a child is young, a bike can give them a sense of freedom. They can ride to the store or a friend’s house. Children do not need a parent to shuttle them to everything, and many children embrace the sense of responsibility. They enjoy the ability to travel through the streets and neighborhoods of their hometown.
Unfortunately, that freedom ended tragically for two Ocoee, Florida children. On January 21, an SUV struck the two children, a boy and a girl, when they were riding their bikes home from school. One child was seriously injured and the other child suffered minor injuries.
Ocoee Fire Department officials say the accident occurred on North Clarke Road and East Silver Star Road Drive in Ocoee around 3:50 p.m. Witnesses said the driver of the SUV, Lastevie V. Howard, 40, of Ocoee, Florida, was leaving a Walgreen’s Pharmacy when he hopped the curb, drove over the sidewalk and struck the children, who were on their bicycles. One of the children, the girl, was knocked onto the street and lay motionless. A witness saw the accident and quickly grabbed the girl off the street before another car could injure her. The girl was rushed to the hospital where she was listed in critical condition with swelling in the brain. The boy only received minor injuries.
Howard did not stop to help the children. Instead, he sped away from the scene of the accident and drove across the center median where he began driving the wrong way down the street. Witnesses followed the driver and confronted him in a nearby parking lot. They stayed with the man until law enforcement officials arrived at the scene.
It was unclear if Howard was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but the crash is still under investigation. Blood was drawn and is being analyzed. So far, no charges have been filed against Howard. He could face charges for leaving the scene of accident that caused bodily injury as well as operating a vehicle in an unsafe manner.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida automobile accident, call us 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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