Law enforcement officers travel at high-rates of speed during a pursuit or when they are responding to an emergency. They use emergency lights and take precautions, but accidents can happen. And when they do, people can be injured.
On October 12, 2014 Susan Roman was crossing West Oak Ridge in Orlando near Chipola Avenue around 3:13 a.m. in the morning, according to media reports. It was dark and the victim wasn’t crossing at a crosswalk. It’s unclear why the 34-year-old woman was crossing the street at that time of the night.
An unmarked patrol car was traveling along West Oak Ridge Road in the eastbound lane. The Orange County Sheriff’s car was in the left lane with its emergency lights on, a witness said. A second patrol vehicle was following the first patrol car on West Oak Ridge Road. The second vehicle did not have any emergency lights turned on, but was using its headlights, as it was nighttime, according to the witness. The second patrol car was driven by Deputy Eric Rivera. The 38-year-old deputy struck Roman with his patrol vehicle in the center turn lane.
After the impact with the vehicle, Roman was thrown onto the side of a pickup truck. She was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. West Oak Ridge Road was closed after the accident as investigators tried to learn more about the incident.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the crash. Deputies are given discretion over when to use emergency lights. Rivera was placed on administrative leave while the investigation into the accident was taking place. A “black box” was going to be analyzed as part of the investigation. The instrument will determine the speed of the patrol car at the time of the accident.
The accident was not unusual. Hundreds are pedestrians are struck each year by vehicles in Florida. According to a media reports, 850 people were hit in Central Florida by a car in 2013 and each year 40 to 70 die. Another 150 suffer significant injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident that involved law enforcement personnel, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. immediately at 888-FLA-AUTO (888-352-2886) for a free initial consultation.
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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If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident, call toll-free at 1-888-FLA-Auto (1-888-352-2886).
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