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Victim’s Family Upset With Plea Deal in Fatal DUI Pedestrian Accident

Some family members of a man killed by a drunk driver in July 2011 are very unhappy with the conditions of a plea deal reached between the driver and the prosecutors in the case. The victim, who was a Special Olympics champion, was walking along Goldenrod Road at Daniel Webster Drive in Winter Park that day when he was struck and killed by a car driven by a woman who had a blood-alcohol concentration greater than twice the legal limit. Florida Highway Patrol troopers who investigated the accident reported that a passenger in the car was also inebriated at the time of the accident.

According to the accident investigation, the driver and passenger got into a heated argument, and the passenger grabbed the steering wheel, causing the car to hit a median, jump over a curb and strike the victim. Troopers reported that the impact caused the victim to fly more than 30 feet in the air before bouncing off the top of a parked car and caroming off another before hitting a third and finally coming to rest on the roadway.

"If she had grabbed back the wheel, (the victim) would be alive. If he hadn’t grabbed the wheel, (the victim) would be alive. If she hadn’t gotten in the car drunk and fighting, (the victim) would be alive. That’s their responsibility," said one of the victim’s relatives who was outraged at the plea deal.

The drunk driver was initially charged with DUI manslaughter. Under the terms of the plea deal offered by prosecutors, the driver and passenger will instead plead guilty to vehicular homicide, with each serving one year of house arrest and then probation.

"(He) was our glue, and our family is broken without that glue. And all we’re asking for is what any citizen would want, is justice," said one angry relative.

No amount of compensation awarded in a court trial or negotiated in a settlement can replace a life, but with the help of an Orlando wrongful death attorney, a grieving family can receive compensation to help pay burial expenses, replace lost income and cover other damages. If your family has experienced a loss due to the negligence of others and you want to learn more about your legal options, call James O. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) to schedule a free consultation. Mr. Cunningham has been helping grieving families since 1977. Call today to get an aggressive and experienced Orlando personal injury lawyer on your side!

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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