Florida Lawyer Killed During Motorcycle Crash in Pinellas County
The Florida legal community continues to mourn the loss of one of their own this week after a local criminal defense attorney was killed during a motorcycle accident along U.S. Highway 19 North in Pinellas County.
Although the fatal crash occurred over a month ago, Hillsborough County medical professionals recently finished their post-mortem examinations for both victims of the motorcycle accident, which marks the unofficial conclusion of the case for investigators with the Florida Highway Patrol.
According to crash details from the responding troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol, it was during the morning of August 20, 2022, when 66-year-old Ron Smith and his girlfriend 62-year-old Brenda Volpe were riding a motorcycle on U.S. 19 in the southbound direction heading to a friend’s funeral who had just passed away from cancer. At some point during their travels near Eagle Chase Boulevard, the traffic ahead of the couple slowed down and when Smith attempted to do the same with the motorcycle, he lost control of the bike and slammed into the tire of another vehicle’s utility trailer.
Local emergency response teams arrived at the scene of the accident and transported both crash victims to the nearest hospital. The driver of the motorcycle, 66-year-old Ron Smith, was declared dead upon arrival and 62-year-old Brenda Volpe passed away just a few hours later – both from blunt trauma to the head. Neither was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.
Since the early 1990’s, former prosecutor turned criminal defense lawyer Ron Smith has been a well-known motorcycle helmet proponent and supported state legislature that eventually led to a law in 2000 that permitted motorcyclists over the age of twenty-one to ride without head protection, so long as they provided a $10,000 insurance coverage policy for motorcycle accident injuries.
Both Volpe and Smith belonged to the American Legion Post 173 and after the death of their friends, members decided to discuss new motorcycle safety suggestions on behalf of their fellow riders. Helmets are still optional for each member, however, legion leader Eddie Rodriguez indicated that every rider has been wearing one since the tragic accident occurred.
No official charges have been filed in this incident.
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.