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Local Florida Teen Killed When Driver Falls Asleep

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on September 20, 2016

On Sunday, a 16 year old senior at Apopka High School was hit and killed while standing on the shoulder of the Florida Turnpike. According to police reports, the boy, Sonjay Nandram, was killed when a driver fell asleep while driving. Sonjay’s death comes just one year after his mother passed away.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Sonjay was standing next to his vehicle on the shoulder of the Florida Turnpike’s northbound lanes, near mile marker 264. The time was 6:40 in the morning. Investigators told one local news channel that he had pulled his vehicle onto the shoulder following a minor accident with another vehicle.

While standing on the side of the road, another vehicle, driven by 32 year old Tanaya Garcia, suddenly veered off the highway, hitting and killing Sonjay. According to the accident report, Garcia stated that she had fallen asleep just before striking the teen’s vehicle. The Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating whether any charges will be brought against Garcia.

Sonjay’s father told a local news station that after graduation his son had planned to go to college and pursue a career in the health care field. Unfortunately, like too many young lives before him, Sonjay’s dreams will not come true. According to his father, following his mother’s sudden death just over a year ago, Sonjay became “the man of the house”. A clearly distraught father is now left dealing with the death of his son and trying to figure out who will take care of him and the family household.

In a case like the one here, Sonjay’s father has grounds to bring a wrongful death action against Tanaya Garcia. According to Florida law, when a family member is killed due to the negligent or reckless action of another (i.e., falling asleep at the wheel), in some cases the surviving spouse, children or parents can sue in order to be compensated for their loss. Needless to say, the Florida Wrongful Death statute is complex, and it is highly recommended that you start by discussing your specific circumstances with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney.

Call the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. at 1-877-FL-INJURY today and schedule your 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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