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May 4, 2017

A crash in Orange County on Wednesday has left one 30-year-old man from Orlando dead and several others with injuries. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the accident took place at 6:30 on Wednesday evening. The cars involved were headed eastbound on State Road 408, close to the popular road’s 18th mile marker. The statement issued by the Florida Highway Patrol fleshes out the story somewhat, although there is still an ongoing investigation into the precise reasons behind this deadly accident. So far, it seems clear that the crash was instigated by a GMC pickup truck that was being driven by the 45-year-old Winter Park resident Jesus Otero.

Driving east on State Road 408, Otero was traveling at above the posted limit when he started to approach a line of cars that included a Lexus, a Honda, and a BMW. For unknown reasons, Otero did not slow down his GMC as the distance between him and the Honda decreased. When he struck the Honda, the force of Otero’s GMC was enough to propel the Honda forward into the Lexus which was pushed forward into the BMW.

As a result of the violent impact, the GMC flipped over. Otero was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, although the prognosis for him seems to indicate only minor injuries. Minor injuries are also what befell the drivers of both the Lexus and the BMW. Not so for Lester Balibalos, the person behind the wheel of the Honda. Medical personnel rushed the badly injured Balibalos to the hospital, but their efforts were not enough to compensate for the devastating injuries he suffered as a result of the crash. Balibalos was pronounced dead at the Orlando Regional Medical Center.

There are currently charges pending against Jesus Otero, and the Florida Highway Patrol will continue to investigate the crash site and witness statements to ensure that they possess all the information that is available. It is likely that Otero will face more charges in the final outcome.

Accidents such as this, where a life is taken, are tremendously difficult for the friends and loved ones of the deceased to overcome. Added to the initial grieving process are the medical bills, funeral costs, and the probable loss of a wage earner in a household. All of these additional monetary concerns, while not the first thing on anyone’s mind, make recovery from an accident even more challenging than it already is.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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Orange County:
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236 South Lucerne Circle East
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 407-425-2000

Seminole County:
Lake Mary, FL

300 International Parkway #100
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Phone: 407-487-4408

Osceola County:
Kissimmee, FL

17 S. Orlando Ave.
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 407-966-4408

Volusia County:
Daytona Beach, FL

1301 Beville Rd., Suite 8
Daytona Beach, FL 32119
Phone: 386-243-4994

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DeBary, FL

465 Summerhaven Drive, Suite C
DeBary, FL 32713
Phone: 386-320-3911

Volusia County:
Deland, FL

120 South Woodland Blvd.
Deland, FL 32720
Phone: 386-206-1264

Citrus County:
Inverness, FL

110 North Apopka Ave.
Inverness, FL 34453
Phone: 352-205-4341

Polk County:
Lakeland, FL

1102 S. Florida Ave., Suite 104
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-968-7551

Polk County:
Winter Haven, FL

325 Avenue A, N.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Phone: 863-968-7173

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Tampa, FL

100 S. Edison St. Suite D
Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 813-355-9772

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The Villages, FL

3420 U.S. Hwy. 27/441
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Phone: 352-419-0825

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Mt. Dora, FL

602 East 5th Ave.
Mt. Dora, FL 32757
Phone: 352-436-4696

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Clermont, FL

900 W. Highway 50
Clermont, FL 34711
Phone: 352-503-4674

Brevard County:
Titusville, FL

506 S. Palm Ave.
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: 321-222-7300

Brevard County:
Cocoa, FL

96 Willard Street, Suite 206
Cocoa, FL 32922
Phone: 321-757-1373

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