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Families of Misidentified Crash Victims File Lawsuit Against FHP

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on April 2, 2020

Two families who were struck by a tragic accident that took place within Escambia County towards the end of July of 2019 have decided to file lawsuits against numerous organizations, including funeral homes and the Florida Highway Patrol, after two individuals who died in a single-car crash were misidentified.

According to the lawsuit, it was on the 29th of July that four individuals were inside of a car and traveling down a road within Escambia County. It was close to 1:30 in the morning when the driver of the car lost control of the vehicle for reasons that are not currently clear. In their attempts to regain control of the car, the driver wound up overcompensating and then crashing into a utility pole located close to the roadway. The force of the crash caused one of the car’s inhabitants to be thrown out of the window.

When EMTs, paramedics, and police reached the scene, two of the people involved were able to be transported to a nearby hospital and treated for their injuries. Sadly, the other two occupants, one 15 and the other 18, were declared dead at the scene of the crash.

According to the lawsuit filed by the mother of one of the individuals, the Florida Highway Patrol found an identification card for one of the deceased individuals at the scene of the accident. For reasons that are not at all clear, this identification card was then assigned to the wrong person. This mistake was not corrected when the deceased individuals were transported from the site to the county medical examiner’s office and then to two different funeral homes.

During this period of time, numerous organs were removed from one of the wrongly identified deceased individuals. As it turns out, the individual from whom the organs were removed was not an organ donor.

It is not clear exactly what reasons were given, but it also appears as though the mother of one of the children repeatedly attempted to view her deceased daughter only to be denied by everyone from the FHP to the medical examiner. It wasn’t until the young person’s body was at the funeral home that the woman was able to view it, immediately identifying it as someone other than her daughter.

It is not clear if anyone was charged in the crash itself, and it is not known what sort of reparations are expected to be made to the families touched by this grim and negligent act of misidentification.


James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 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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