Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit Blames Volusia County for Truck Accident on Beach that Killed 4-Year-Old
A year after 4-year-old Aiden Patrick was fatally struck by a truck on New Smyrna Beach, his family is suing Volusia County and the driver of the vehicle for his Florida wrongful death. The plaintiffs contend that the county should have taken the appropriate steps to make the beach safe for beachgoers. The Florida pickup truck accident took place in July 2010 when Aiden, who was running toward the water, was hit by a truck driven by Donovan Sias. Even though he was not charged in the accident—troopers determined that he couldn’t see the boy and he wasn’t speeding—the family is also suing Sias for Aiden’s Florida wrongful death. Since 1995, there have been 49 Florida beach-driving accidents on Volusia County resulting in injury or death. Aiden’s family wants an amount of financial compensation that exceeds the limits set by sovereign immunity law, which they say should not apply because considering the history of accidents that have occurred on its beaches the county knew New Smyrna Beach could be a dangerous place. It was just less than two weeks ago that a woman was run over by a patrol truck on Daytona Beach. 35-year-old Erin Michelle Joynt was on her stomach sunbathing when the truck drove over her mid-section. Her kids saw the accident. She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The truck’s 21-year-old truck driver, who is also a part-time lifeguard, reportedly did not see her. However, although he was given a driving-safety manual, he never underwent the 16-hour beach driving course that addresses the hazards involved in beach driving. Elsewhere in Florida, last month a woman sustained a traumatic brain injury and her friend was injured in a Miami-Dade ATV accident on a beach. Kitzie Nicanor and Luis Almonte were walking on the beach before dawn when an ATV driven by Police Officer Erick Kuilan hit them. Nicanor also injured her heart and had to have her spleen removed. Meantime, Kuilan, who had alcohol in his system that exceeded the BAC limit of .08%, was charged with two counts of driving under the influence and two counts of reckless driving resulting in bodily injury. A couple of weeks later, a Miami personal injury lawsuit was filed against Kuilan and the Clevelander Hotel, which was where the cop had been drinking. She also may file a Miami-Dade County personal injury lawsuit against the city of Miami Beach. When vehicles are allowed on the beach, it is important that proper safety measures are in place to protect beachgoers from getting run over—especially when there are sunbathers lying on the sand, who can be hard for a driver sitting in a motor vehicle to see. Motorists on the beach must also take extra precautions to avoid hitting anyone—especially small children—that may be playing or sitting outside the driver’s line of vision. Volusia lifeguard who ran over sunbather didn't take beach driving course, Orlando Sentinel, August 1, 2011 Woman Files Lawsuit in Cop ATV Crash, NBC Miami, July 28, 2011 More Blog Posts: Miami ATV Accident: Two Injured After Being Struck by Police Officer on South Beach, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, July 8, 2011 6 Kids, 1 Man Thrown in Palm Bay, Florida Pickup Truck Crash, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, June 14, 2011 Jury Awards $2.25M Palm Beach County Wrongful Death Verdict in Fatal 2008 Boynton Beach Car Accident, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, March 16, 2011 To determine whether you have grounds for a case, you should speak with an experienced Miami personal injury law firm today.