WEAR reports that every year law enforcement officers are hurt or killed by someone failing to move over for a stopped or disabled vehicle. Recently, a Gulf Breeze man was killed on the roadside while helping someone in a crash and now the Florida Highway Patrol is reminding residents about Move Over Laws. The law requires that the oncoming driver vacate the nearest lane of traffic and, if that's not possible, they must slow down at least 20 miles below the speed limit. Motorists can face fines and points on their driver's license if they fail to move over or slow down near an incident, whether that's impacting law enforcement or other service workers like tow truck operators. The law does not apply during the short period of time when a driver is pulled over and waiting for emergency officials or a tow truck.
Various news agencies reported that a Tallahassee woman was significantly injured several weeks ago when she was involved in a car accident. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the car she was riding in was t-boned in Northern Bay County at the intersection of Hwy 20 and Blue Springs Rd. The male, who was driving the 2005 Honda Civic, the 32-year-old-female, and their two young children were driving home to Tallahassee from Panama City Beach when the driver told troopers he didn't see the stop sign at Blue Springs and skid into the path of a Chevrolet Equinox going west on 20. The 32 year old female was rushed to Bay Medical Sacred Heart, where she underwent surgery. The 28 year old male was also taken to Bay Medical with serious but non-life threatening injuries. The two children ages two and four didn't have a scratch and credited that to the fact they were restrained in age appropriate car seats. The other driver wasn't injured.
According to WJHG, Channel 7 out of Panama City, there was an accident last Wednesday morning that left one person that had to be taken to the hospital after police say a truck ran a red light. Panama City Beach Police say a truck driving south on Highway 79 ran a red light and through the intersection at Back Beach Rd. around 6:30 a.m., causing a Dodge Durango to hit the truck. The truck then spun around, pushing it into a road sign and another vehicle that was stopped at the light in a turning lane. Police said they're unsure of how serious the person's injuries are.
Last Friday, there was a tragic accident in Calhoun County which left two people dead and three people injured. The crash occurred around 2 p.m. in Blountstown. According to the FHP report, a 49-year-old female from Cleveland, Tennessee (Kidd), was traveling west on County Road 286, approaching a stop sign at the intersection of State Road 69. At the same time, a 43-year-old female from Gainesville, Georgia, was in another vehicle traveling south on State Road 69, approaching the intersection of County Road 286. Authorities say the Tennessee female failed to stop at the stop sign as she entered the intersection, and got T-boned by Smith's vehicle. The impact of the collision caused the female from Georgia's vehicle to travel southwest, before colliding with a fence post in the southwest corner of the intersection. It continued to travel in southwest as it overturned, before coming to final rest, facing north. The vehicle rotated clockwise as it traveled southwest, coming to final rest in a cotton field, in the southwest corner of the intersection, facing north. The Tennessee female's vehicle left rear collided with a fence and fence post. She was taken to the hospital in serious condition. Her passenger, a 65 year-old female, of Moultrie, Georgia, was pronounced dead on the scene. The driver of the vehicle from Georgia was taken to the hospital in serious condition and one of her passengers was pronounced dead on the scene. The other passenger in her vehicle from of Lowndes, Georgia, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Our thoughts and prayers with those families dealing with the loss of their loved ones and we wish those injured a speedy recovery. According to Florida Statutes 316.123, at a four-way stop intersection, the driver of the first vehicle to stop at the intersection shall be the first to proceed. If two or more vehicles reach the four-way stop intersection at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right. Also, the driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall, in obedience to such sign, slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required for safety to stop, shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver is moving across or within the intersection. If such a driver is involved in a collision with a pedestrian in a crosswalk or a vehicle in the intersection, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, the collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the driver's failure to yield the right-of-way.
WJHG Channel 7 out of Panama City reports of some horrible accidents that occurred last weekend in Northwest Florida. A car crash occurred at the intersection of State Road 20 and County Road 275 in Altha which resulted in one woman dying. Last Saturday night, a 25 year old male was traveling south on County Road 275, approaching State Road 20. At the same time, a second car was traveling westbound on State Road 20 approaching the intersection of County Road 275. FHP reports the 25 year old male failed to observe the stop sign and collided with the passenger side of the other male's car. It was the passenger in the car that was impacted who was pronounced dead on the scene. Officials say alcohol was a factor, and at this time charges are pending.
A 17-year-old Niceville girl was seriously injured Sunday afternoon when she failed to negotiate a turn approaching the Mid-Bay Bridge. She was driving a 1997 Lexus northbound on State Road 293 when she entered a curve in the roadway and lost control of her car. This caused her to strike two southbound cars, one of which then hit a fourth car. The first vehicle she struck was a 24 year old man from Destin. He was not injured. The occupants of third car -- which the 17 year-old hit head-on -- where two young men from Marietta, Georgia. They were both injured. The fourth car was driven by a female from DeFuniak Springs who was also injured. The Niceville girl was charged with failing to maintain lane of travel.
The Northwest Daily News reports that Santa Rosa Beach man is in critical condition after a tragic accident this past Sunday. FHP reports a female from Covington, Kentucky, was traveling east in a 2006 Mazda on the outside lane of U.S. Highway 98. As she approached the intersection of County Road 283 around 1:30 p.m., she did not notice two vehicles that were parked in the lane facing east and had just been involved in a crash. The drivers and one passenger were outside of their cars examining the damage. The Kentucky female failed to notice the cars until it was too late to stop safely. Two of the individuals who were examining the damage were able to jump out of the way, but the man from Santa Rosa Beach did not get out of way in time and was pinned between the vehicles for a time period.
According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, there was a 5 car collision on Us. Highway 98 east of Edgewood Drive around 8 a.m. The cause of the accident was failing to stop for traffic conditions which unfortunately happens in this area, especially during the summer months when there are more vehicles on the road. According to the FHP report, A 2002 Dodge pickup driven by 27-year-old male from Milton failed to stop for traffic and rear ended a 2012 Toyota car driven by 57-year-old male from Miramar Beach. The impact forced the Toyota into a 1995 Chevy Tracker that was being towed behind a 2013 Ford RV driven by a 72-year-old male from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Tracker was forced forward into the RV, the release said.
Last week we all read bout the tragic accident that occurred down in south Florida. A group of church members (18 occupants) were returning from a weekend Palm Sunday event traveling in a 15 passenger van. According to reports, the van ran through a stop sign early Monday before crossing all lanes of US 27 and continued onto a grassy shoulder, crashing into a steep canal partially filled with water. The driver and seven passengers were confirmed dead. The other 10 passengers were taken to four local hospitals, with three in a serious condition. The injured ranged in age from 4 to 89.
An unfortunate car accident occurred this past Tuesday in Florosa. Northwest Florida Daily News reported two people were transported with serious injuries after a three vehicle crash this past Tuesday morning. A 2005 Chevy Silverado driven by a Missouri man was driving east on U.S. Highway 98 near Club 51 around 9 a.m. Tuesday. He was trying to turn left onto a paved median break when he was rear-ended by 53-year-old man from Gulf Breeze driving a 2012 Hyundai Tucson. The impact from the 2012 Hyundai Tucson caused the Silverado to overturn on its roof. The Tucson then swerved into the outside lane and impacted a 2005 Harley Sportster ridden by a 32-year-old man of Navarre, which fell on its side, ejecting the driver. A group of airmen wearing special operations uniforms, who were driving by, stopped at the scene to help the injured motorists. According to FHP, the driver of the Hyundai suffered "a medical condition" at the time of the crash. He was transported to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center with serious injuries. The driver of the Silverado suffered minor injuries, as did the driver of the Harley. Two passengers in the Silverado received injuries that needed treatment at local hospitals. FHP is investigating the accident. Now, the question will be whether or not the driver of the Tucson had a valid medical condition and therefore is not liable for the accident. Under Florida law, a driver cannot be held negligent if he/she suddenly loses consciousness due to an unexpected medical cause. Florida appellate courts have upheld this defense as recently as February of 2014 in the ruling of Marcum v. Hayward. The Second District Court of Appeal found a woman not liable for causing an accident, since she, as the defendant, proved the following elements: