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Fatal Motorcycle Accident in Sarasota County Leads to DUI Arrest of North Port Man

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on April 3, 2021

According to preliminary collision reports from the Florida Highway Patrol operating in Sarasota County, a 33-year-old individual has been arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter, DUI serious bodily injury, and DUI property damage after his alleged involvement in a fatal motorcycle accident which claimed the life of a 67-year-old man this past Tuesday evening along U.S. Highway 41 near Palm Harbor Drive.

It was approximately 10:30 p.m. on March 30th, 2021, when 33-year-old Zachary Richards, a resident of North Port, was erratically driving his Ford Transit passenger van down the southbound lanes of U.S 41 at a high rate of speed without the vehicle’s headlights illuminated. Authorities with the Florida Highway Patrol indicated that as the speeding passenger van approached Palm Harbor Drive, a 67-year-old man and his 62-year-old female passenger riding a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle entered the vicinity from the north. As the motorcyclist attempted to turn south onto Palm Harbor Drive, he entered the path of the passenger van and the two vehicles collided. The force of impact caused the 67-year-old biker and his passenger to be thrown from the Harley-Davidson onto the nearby roadway. Moments later, a 77-year-old man from Illinois driving a Lexus SUV entered the scene of the accident and also crashed into the motorcycle.

Seminole County officers and emergency response teams immediately rushed to the crash site where they sadly discovered that the 67-year-old biker, who had not been wearing a helmet at the time of the collision, had already passed away from the injuries he sustained in the deadly accident. His 62-year-old female passenger was transported to a local hospital where she remains in critical condition. She was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash – a decision that undoubtedly saved her life. The driver of the SUV was treated for minor injuries at the scene.

Richards was arrested at the scene of the DUI accident on multiple felony charges and remains in the Sarasota County Jail at this time.

Since 1977, Orlando auto accident lawyer James O. Cunningham has been compassionately fighting for the rights of victims and families who have been seriously injured or killed by the negligence of a drunk driver. If you would like to schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute case evaluation, please contact us today at 877-FL-INJURY for additional information.


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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