As a personal injury law firm, we are familiar with the term "TBI" or traumatic brain injury. We have encountered clients with TBIs as a result of a car accident or a fall. Many of our clients are confused as to this diagnosis and we guide them to the necessary health care providers to treat and educate them on this permanent debilitating injury.
Fourth of July is here and too many of us forget that fireworks are dangerous explosive devices. New numbers from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission show that fireworks deaths rose in 2014, killing nearly a dozen people and sending more than 10,000 to the hospital. Always follow safe practices around fireworks whether you are attending a professional production or using consumer fireworks in your driveway.
Channel 7 WJHG reports that the FHP has released more information pertaining to the fatal traffic crash that happened Sunday afternoon on Back Beach Road. According to the report, around 2:30 p.m a 58 year-old male and his passenger were traveling eastbound on U.S. 98 on their motorcycle. At the same time, 51-year-old female was traveling down the same road, but slowed down to take a right hand turn onto Le Grand Drive. Officials say the motorcycle failed to slow down as the car was turning, and the motorcycle collided with the car. Both the driver and passenger of the motorcycle fell off, and were taken to Bay Medical Center. The passenger died at the hospital. Authorities are investigating if alcohol was a factor and at this time charges are pending. No one on the motorcycle was wearing a helmet.
With summer here, safety officials in Florida are urging beach-goers to stay safe in the water. After a near-drowning incident recently, one Dothan man saw the dangers high waves can bring, first-hand. It's a moment retired Dothan Police Officer, Keith Gray, won't soon forget. "I saw a group of people and I ran as fast as I could without thinking. I jumped in the water and swam to where they were, and there was this unconscious female face up. They were holding her above the water, but you could clearly see there was no life in her body," said Keith Gray, Dothan resident.Gray and another man performed CPR on the 14 year old Texas girl before EMS officials arrived. "Thank God she came back," said Gray. What is unfortunate is that drownings are a recurring problem. Why? We have so many people that come into our area and they are not familiar with their swimming ability or the flag system and how to read it. With only four rescuers on duty this summer, Carol Wagner, Beach and Surf Patrol Supervisor in Panama City Beach, says it can get overwhelming with the large amount of tourists in one area at one time. She urges vacationers to not only take a look at the flag colors, but also learn their meanings before even coming to the beach. Flags range from green to double red. Green, being the best conditions. While double red means the water is closed to the public. Wagner also says it's important to know your own swimming ability before getting in the water.
It is that time. As the weather heats up, it is common to find a rare form of flesh-eating bacteria (Vibrio Vulnificus) in Florida waters. As of now in 2015, eight people in the state have contracted Vibrio Vulnificus. Two of those people have died from the bacteria. Currently, there is no reported cases of the bacteria in Escambia and Okaloosa counties and just one in Santa Rosa. It's rare to contract the bacteria, and it can be cured with antibiotics if caught in time, but in some cases it can lead to death. WEAR Channel 3 interviewed Doctor John Lanza with the Escambia County Health Department regarding the bacteria. According to him, Vibrio Vulnificus has been around for years and he sees cases of the bacteria spike in the warmer months. Due to the warm waters of the Gulf and the Atlantic, the bacteria is always here. How do you get it? People can contract the bacteria from consuming raw oysters, swimming with an open wound in warm, brackish, or salt water, or getting a scratch from something in the water that has the bacteria growing on it. How would you know that you have the bacteria? Dr. John Lanza says that a person would have symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea from the ingestion of water containing Vibrio. With a wound infected with the bacteria, you would see redness, oozing , pain, fever, and with a scratch you would see that also. If exposed, the bacteria could find its way into your blood stream. If the infection is caught in time antibiotics can treat it. But, if you have a compromised immune system, it can be deadly. So, what should we take from this article? Don't consume raw oysters, and if you have an open wound - stay out of the water.
Channel 7 WJHG reports that FWC has confirmed that a 17-year-old male was killed this past Wednesday after his jet ski collided with a 20-foot boat in Grand Lagoon. The young man was heading east in Grand Lagoon, while the 20 foot Sea Fox , carrying five people on board from Alabama was heading towards the campground area at St. Andrews State Park. The incident occurred just before 6 p.m. Wednesday. Officials say the 17 year old worked for Sunshine Water Sports PC and was leading a jet ski tour during when the accident happened. After the accident, he was taken to a local hospital and later pronounced dead. As of now, officials are still investigating how and why the male collided with the boat.
During the summer, we all see more people biking. It is well known that bicycling is one of the best ways to stay in shape, see the sights, save money on gas and reduce pollution. Even though there are so many benefits, there are also a lot of risks and people must take extra precautions when they ride. They often share the road with vehicles, which creates a host of hazards, but injuries can happen even on a designated path. The National Safety Council reports that bicycle riding caused more injuries over all age groups than football in 2013. According to Injury Facts 2015, 531,340 people were treated in emergency rooms in 2013 after being injured riding a bicycle. The only sport resulting in more injuries overall was basketball, at 533,509. Football was third, at 420,581. This organization also reports that about 1,000 deaths and 120,000 injuries resulted from cyclists colliding with motor vehicles in 2013. With about 80 million bike riders sharing the road with millions of motorized vehicles, the importance of safety precautions in traffic cannot be emphasized enough.
The Northwest Daily News reports on how important water safety is, especially this weekend during the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival. This is a big weekend for us here in Northwest Florida. Many families look forward to this weekend all year. Although the annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival takes place on land, thousands celebrate on the water. That makes for a crowded Santa Rosa Sound and puts area law enforcement on high alert. This year's festival, which will be held June 4 to June 6 at Fort Walton Landing, is no different. Officials are already urging the public to obey marine laws and adhere to basic water safety rules. A Michele Nicholson, spokesman for the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office told the Northwest Daily News, "Slow down, keep your head on a swivel and slow down on the alcohol consumption. If people do those things, that will have a major impact on everyone's enjoyment and safety." Like many law enforcement agencies, the Sheriff's Office will have marine units patrolling the sound during the festivities. Also on the water will be the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. "Our special operation command team will be patrolling the interior areas," spokeswoman Bekah Nelson said. "That's where the heavy crowds are. ... People want to make sure they have a sober (boat) driver." Although the Billy Bowlegs Festival happens at the Fort Walton downtown landing, many revelers boat to the area and party on the water for hours. Some also boat in for the fireworks on Friday night after Capt. Billy Bowlegs captures the city. On land the Fort Walton Beach Police Department will deploy extra officers to deal with the increased number of visitors to downtown, said Sgt. Tracy Hart. "It's summertime and it's extra people who don't often visit the area," he said. "And we want to make sure everyone is safe." Officers also will support the Sheriff's Office and FWC as it deals with medical calls, boating under the influence and other incidents. "What happens on the water comes on land," Hart said. "We'll be there to assist with that."
Summer is here for many of us, and many of us who live here in Northwest Florida we spend the summer on the water. We own boats, paddle boards, surf boards, etc. We love the water. This is why it was alarming to see this investigation on the Today Show. According to Rossen Report, last year there were more than 4,000 boating accidents, resulting in 610 deaths. Now the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation, safety entity of Boat Owners Association of the United States, is issuing a new warning. "When you're tubing, you're going about 18 to 25 miles per hour," said Chris Edmonston, president of BoatUS Foundation. "And when you fall off, it can almost be like hitting concrete." To demonstrate the jarring affect, NBC national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen went tubing, with Edmonston operating the boat towing him. When he hit the boat's wake, Rossen flipped over, slamming into the water as his tube flew into the air.
This sad story has been all over different news agencies this past week. This past Monday in Fort Lauderdale, three children were injured when a waterspout came onshore and lifted the inflatable bounce house they were in, authorities said. The house was swept across a parking lot into a roadway, according to local police. The National Weather Service in Miami reported that one adult was also injured and that one of the three children was seriously hurt.