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4-Year Old Killed by Car Accident on Beach

Chris Russo Jul 19, 2010

This four year old boy was struck and killed by a pickup truck on the beach.  A 2003 Dodge pickup truck driven by Donovan Sias, 33, of New Smyrna Beach, Florida ran over the boy as he ran toward the water.  The boy was with his parents at the time.  The accident happened near Crawford Road.  Locals are questioning whether driving should still be permitted on the beach.  The accident happened at approximately 3:00 p.m.  The right front tire of the vehicle struck the boy.  A preliminary investigation reported that Sias was not speeding and could not see the boy.

From the photograph of the truck in the Orlando Sentinel linked above, it appears that this truck may have had a raised suspension.  A raised suspension may play into this case in several ways.  First, the raised suspension may have been a factor in the driver not being able to see the child.  Second, there are standard maximum heights proscribed by law in Florida and by federal standards.  Without measuring the truck, it cannot be determined whether those maximum heights were violated.  Notwithstanding, this vehicle appeared to have very large mud or dirt type tires.  Third, the raised suspension may invalidate Mr. Sias' insurance coverage if the insurance company was not made aware of the modification to the vehicle.  If so, this misrepresentation by Mr. Sias may be sufficient to destroy insurance coverage for the victim's family.  If true, then the victim's family's only recourse would be to sue the driver/owner directly and hope to recover from the driver/owner's pocket or to have uninsured/underinsured motorists' coverage (UM).  It would be a good idea for the victims' family to have purchased UM coverage on their own before this accident.  Furthermore, a violation of the law by the at-fault driver/owner, such as having an illegally raised vehicle, would not disqualify the victim from UM coverage as it is first party coverage purchased by the victims themselves in case other people do not have insurance for some reason.  This is case is certainly a tragedy.  If you or a loved one has a question or concern about wrongful death or car accident cases, please contact a personal injury lawyer with Moody Law in the greater Central Florida area for a discussion of your rights under the law.  Our Central Florida personal injury lawyers serve Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Haines City, Davenport, and Polk County, Florida but also handle selected cases on a statewide basis.  Our personal injury attorneys can meet you in your home or a hospital for a free consultation.

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