Going for a Walk is More Dangerous than You Might Think in Florida

Across the United States, 50,000 pedestrians have been killed from 2000 to 2009. With 5,100 of those pedestrian deaths occurring in Florida, our state has the highest pedestrian danger index in the country. While traffic fatality rates may have decreased across the nation, pedestrian fatalities in 15 of the largest metro areas have actually increased.

Pedestrian accident statistics from the Florida Department of Transportation:

• 48% of pedestrians are killed while crossing a road that is not at an intersection • 40% of all pedestrian fatalities are related to alcohol • 43% of pedestrian fatalities occur on lighted streets at night • 13% of the pedestrians killed were under the age of 10 • 22.7% of all traffic crashes include pedestrians and bicyclists
Pedestrian Accidents Happen Often in the Tri-County Area, but Whose Fault is it?

Recently, a 58-year-old man was crossing the street in Fort Lauderdale when he was hit and killed by a Dodge Ram. While the driver stopped and waited for the police to arrive, the man was pronounced dead at the scene. Another recent accident occurred on N. Miami Ave., where an elderly woman lost control of the SUV she was driving and hit a pedestrian. This pedestrian survived, but was dealing with a number of injuries.

Accidents like these happen regularly on our busy streets. One of the most common natural questions is: Whose fault is it? The law of negligence is used to determine which party was at fault. If the persons involved in the accident failed to exercise a reasonable standard of care during the incident, then they may be held fully or partially responsible for the accident and injuries that may have resulted from it.

Was the motorist following the rules of the road? Was the pedestrian crossing the road at an intersection or designated crossing area? Was the driver traveling at a safe speed? In many cases, both parties may share negligence.

Pedestrian Accidents Can Be Avoided

Many motorists naturally keep their eyes on the road when driving defensively. What is important to keep in mind is that safe driving means not just watching the other vehicles, but also people walking, riding bikes, skating, etc. The same goes for people who are not operating a vehicle. It is easy to just focus on what and/or who is on the sidewalk and maybe not look both ways when crossing the street or wait for the light. If people are aware of their surroundings and keep safety in mind, accidents involving pedestrians could be avoided.
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Fatal Pedestrian Accident Involving Drunk Driver


A truck driver accused of hitting and killing a 78-year-old woman as she walked across the street is looking at serious charges. The mother of eight was walking to church Monday morning when she was struck by the truck driver near the interchange of Northwest 12th Avenue and 60th Street. Family members have identified the victim as Fannie Ash. She was a housekeeper at Cedars Hospital who recently retired. Fannie Ash was known as a hard worker who was dedicated to her family.

Authorities are reporting Ash was hit by a drunk driver, who at first fled the scene of the accident. The driver was urged by his family members to return to the scene. Miami Police Traffic Homicide Sgt. Luis Taborda confirmed the driver was arrested for DUI when he returned to where the accident happened. The driver has been identified as Howard Marty Leven. There was a field sobriety test conducted on Leven before he was arrested.

The victim’s family says they do understand mistakes can be made and accidents do happen, but they are going through a very difficult time right now and want to find some sort of closure. Howard Marty Leven is being charged with of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and DUI manslaughter.

Pedestrian Accidents Due to Driver Negligence

People who drive a vehicle need to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Not doing this is where negligence comes in. Examples of this include not yielding the right of way to pedestrians on a crosswalk, disregarding traffic signals, driving carelessly in poor weather and road conditions, failing to follow the speed limit, checking emails, texting while driving and driving under the influence.

Hit and Run Accidents

What can seem even more shocking than a car accident is when you realize the other driver is trying to leave the scene of the accident they may have caused. How could they do this? How could they not even care if you or anyone else in the car is ok or needs medical attention? A hit-and-run driver could have warrants for their arrest, operating a vehicle without insurance or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Broward County Hit and Run Accidents Are on the Rise

Broward County was number two on the list of Florida counties with highest number of hit-and-run accidents. Even though Miami-Dade retains the top spot, their hit-and-run accidents decreased by a few thousand from the previous year; while Broward County hit-and-run accidents increased by 8% from 2011 to 2012. With reports showing that 3 out of 5 hit-and-runs involve pedestrians, what has also increased with these types of accidents is the number of fatalities.
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Death-Related Hit & Run Auto Accident in Hialeah


Recently, Hialeah Police were forced to track down an alleged offender of a hit and run incident which took place at a public bus station. The awful event, which killed one waiting bus passenger and caused injuries to another, occurred outside of a fast food restaurant with patrons inside taking sight of this horrific tragedy. What the Pollo Tropical guests at the 49th Street and 16th Avenue store location witnessed will be embedded in their minds for a very long time. After the victim was struck while at the bus stop, his body was flung through the restaurant’s drive through. The store location immediately closed the facility due to the circumstances.

What has surfaced through reports is that the alleged offender, Henry Paz, fled the scene following the impact with the two victims. Witnesses claim that the vehicle that the suspect was driving, a Toyota Camry had a flat tire and he was driving away on the rim. During the investigation by the Hialeah Police Department, an officer responded to a nearby call of a person in need of a tow truck because of a flat tire within an hour of the hit and run accident. Upon arriving to the tow truck call, which was less than a mile away from the unimaginable scene, officers first came in contact with the alleged offender.

After putting the pieces of the puzzle together, officers arrested the suspect for the hit and run accident and charged him with leaving the scene of an accident with a death and serious injury. Statements from Police later indicate that Paz admitted to drinking alcohol prior to entering his vehicle that evening. The charges that the suspect faces may be amplified by the results of the blood alcohol tests that were administered to him following his arrest.


There are many reasons why a person might actually flee the scene of an accident. Some of those reasons include:

• No Driver’s License
• No Proof of PIP Insurance • Impaired Driving • Criminal Warrants
• Stolen Vehicle • Fear of Consequences


When a loved one is killed in such a horrific manner, justice is many family members’ number one goal; however, civil litigation many times follows such events as well. Lawsuits for wrongful death are filed when someone has caused a negligent killing of another person. With as much heart ache that is felt by the family of the victim, there can be an equal amount of stress involved with expenses that are generated from the death of their loved one.
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Who Is At Fault When A Person Is Hit By A Car?



In the early morning hours on July 22, 2013, a pedestrian, unidentified young woman, was struck and killed by an automobile in Lake Worth, Florida. Reports claim that this victim was either kneeling down, or lying on the roadway when she was struck by the oncoming vehicle. At this stage of the investigation, the identity of the victim is being withheld by authorities until the family who survives her can be contacted and notified of the accident. Officials have confirmed that she was twenty-six years old.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has released a statement indicating that the victim was hit while situated on the outside of the eastbound lanes on Lake Worth Road. The vehicle that struck and killed the woman was occupied by two people who were able to walk away from the accident without injuries. The numbers of additional facts that surround this horrific event are still limited given that the investigation remains ongoing.

Having a large populated area like we do here in South Florida creates hazardous conditions at times for many pedestrians who use sidewalks, crosswalks and other paths along busy roadways.


Statistics demonstrate how serious of a problem pedestrian involved auto accidents are. On average, a pedestrian is killed just under every two hours, and injured about every ten minutes by automobiles in the United States. When pedestrian accidents occur, investigators need to look to all the parties involved as both pedestrians and motorists are required to follow traffic laws. This fact may be very basic to many; however, it is extremely important when considering liability of the accident. It can never be assumed that the motorist involved in the accident is the at-fault party by default.


When a pedestrian fails to use due care when walking along a major road or busy highway, dangerous conditions are created that may contribute to an accident.

Pedestrians can cause auto accidents when they:

• Cross roads without using crosswalks;
• Walk into the street with oncoming traffic coming;
• Fail to use traffic signals dedicated for pedestrian flow
Following all traffic laws as a pedestrian can greatly reduce the chances of being hit by a car.


It becomes a little clearer for us to see how a motorist can be liable for an accident involving a pedestrian. These violations of traffic laws are more regularly heard of by us, and include:

• Speeding • DUI • Careless Driving • Running Red Lights / Stop Signs • Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian’s Right-of-Way • Not Using Signal Indicators
As drivers on the road, it is important for us to be mindful of pedestrians who share the roads with us, and being mindful can come easy if we just follow existing traffic laws.
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