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February 10, 2010

A New Smyrna teenager, who caused a fatal State Road 44 auto accident, was driving a stolen truck and fleeing police when he struck an SUV and killed the driver—a father of two. DeLand police said that the 19-year-old suspect was driving the stolen truck east on S.R. 44 when he drifted into the westbound lanes and into the path of the 40-year-old father who was westbound near the intersection with Summit Avenue.

Police said the accident victim attempted to avoid colliding with the pickup, but was unable to get out of the way in time. DeLand police spotted the teen driving a truck that he had stolen from his employer. Before the accident, police had spotted the stolen truck at Woodland Boulevard and Beresford Avenue and followed it for a time before pulling the driver over for a traffic stop. The truck had stopped for a brief period of time when the driver accelerated towards an officer in an attempt to run him over, striking him on the arm and shoulder with the passenger side mirror.

“The suspect had every intent of [doing] whatever it took to get away,” one police officer said.

Police gave chase and attempted to stop the fleeing truck with stop-sticks, but the truck continued to flee and elude, so the police decided to stop pursuit for safety reasons.

“It turned out to be him (the stolen truck’s driver),” Anderson said. “There was no pursuit. Although we could have pursued him because of the aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer, our officers let him go.”

Shortly after police stopped pursuing the stolen truck, they heard reports of the accident on their radios. The SUV’s driver died at the scene from his injuries and the suspect was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released into custody. The teen has been charged with fleeing and attempting to elude, grand theft, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and driving with a suspended license.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, or if someone you care for has been injured or killed in an auto accident, Orlando auto accident attorney James O. Cunningham may be able to help. He has represented Florida auto accident victims successfully since 1977. Call Orlando auto accident lawyer James O. Cunningham today to schedule your free 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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