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Two Killed in Tuesday Night Auto Accident in DeLand

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on July 18, 2016

On Tuesday evening, around 9:00 p.m. near DeLand in Volusia County, two cars collided at the intersection of East New York Avenue and Jesse Michael Drive. The accident, which occurred east of Interstate 4, involved a four-door 2016 Chevrolet and a four-door 2002 Chrysler. According to a report filed by the Florida Highway Patrol, the cars collided head-on at the intersection after the driver of the Chrysler, the 33-year-old Dustin Hayes from Deltona, veered his vehicle from the westbound lanes into the eastbound lanes. The Chevrolet, driven by the 57-year-old William Hellums from Port Orange, also contained the 31-year-old Rita Michaud.

The Florida Highway Patrol’s report states that Michaud, who was from Stanford died at the scene. Hays, who was still alive after the initial accident, was rushed to the Halifax Medical Center by an emergency team, but his injuries were extraordinarily serious and he died after he arrived. Hellums was also admitted to the hospital with grave injuries and is currently still being treated. His precise condition at this time remains unknown.

The investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol is still underway as they attempt to discover exactly why it was that Hayes swerved out of his lane and into the oncoming Chevrolet, fatally injuring himself and another person, while also severely wounding a third. Alcohol tests will be done postmortem, however there are currently no concrete reasons to believe that alcohol played a part in the crash.

As the families affected by this tragedy work to understand what happened on Tuesday night and the new composition of their lives made emptier by the loss of loved ones, the Florida Highway Patrol and state troopers will continue searching for answers as to why this happened and how it could have been prevented. That is one of the most devastating elements of any accidental death: knowing it could have been prevented. Usually, accidents such as the one that took the lives of Rita Michaud and Dustin Hayes are the result of someone’s carelessness and irresponsibility. Behind the wheel of a car, we all become guardians of the lives of the people around us, and when we lose sight of this reality terrible things can happen.

For over thirty-five years, the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. has been representing victims of Florida car accidents. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587).


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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