The Gainesville Sun recently described a teenager accused of stealing a truck owned by the State of Florida and causing three separate crashes on University Avenue. After causing the last of the accidents, the teen was rushed to Shands at the University of Florida for emergency surgery, but was expected to survive his injuries. One other person injured in the crash was hospitalized with injuries described as non-life threatening in the third truck accident that occurred at 100 E. University Avenue at 3:30 p.m.
The teenage driver, who had to be cut from the truck to be treated for his injuries, was identified by Gainesville police as an 18-year-old St. Petersburg resident. A spokesperson for the Gainesville Police said that the airbag in the stolen Chevy pickup truck may have saved the teen’s life.
“We had witnesses tell us he was driving 100 mph down University Avenue, but how they knew it was 100 mph, I don’t know,” he said.
The multiple crashes caused traffic to be rerouted around the crash site for around two hours while investigators gathered evidence and the debris from the wrecked vehicles was cleared from the roadway. The Gainesville Police spokesperson said that the Department of Transportation truck was stolen around 3:15 p.m. after a worker left the keys in it in the 1500 block of East University Avenue. Once the teen got behind the wheel of the truck, he allegedly caused a crash at Waldo Road and East University Avenue and another accident in the 300 block of East University before the five-vehicle pile-up downtown.
Gainesville police investigating the accidents said that the first two truck accidents were minor fender-benders that caused little damage and resulted in no injuries. They said, “We already know that he (the teen) will be charged with auto theft because even though the keys were left in the truck, he took it without permission. He will also be charged with multiple traffic offenses—so many traffic offenses that we haven’t even counted them yet and it may take a couple of days to get this all written up.”
Although this accident resulted in minor injuries to everyone but the driver of the stolen truck, Florida truck accidents involving larger, heavier trucks usually result in death or catastrophic injuries to anyone hit by that truck. If you or someone you care for has been injured in a truck accident, contact Orlando truck accident lawyer James Cunningham today to schedule a free 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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