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March 3, 2015

A drunk driver is an unsafe driver. As you become intoxication, you lose the ability to track movements with your eyes and react to objects. As well, your reaction time slows. It takes longer to turn the steering wheel or press the brake. Finally, your ability to process information becomes slower. All of this adds up to create an awful situation for other people on the road.

On January 30, law enforcement officials say a drunk driver killed another person in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Around 7 p.m., Ian C. Lara, 21, of Santa Rosa Beach, was driving westbound on U.S. Highway 98. He was traveling in a 2007 Infiniti at a high rate of speed near Mussett Bayou Road in Walton County.

Lara came up quickly behind a 2013 Cadillac Escalade that was driven by Ronald G. Rayon, of St. Joseph, Mich. Rather than try to pass Rayon’s vehicle, Lara struck the Cadillac from behind. This caused Rayon’s vehicle to spin out of control and swerve off the road. Rayon tried to over-correct, but this caused the SUV to rollover. During the rollover, the Cadillac rolled over the top of a 2013 Ford Fusion that had stopped at Mussett Bayou Road. The Cadillac came to stop along the north side of the shoulder off the highway.

A passenger in the Escalade, 67-year-old Mary Jane Rayon, of St. Joseph, Mich., suffered significant injuries in the accident. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Ronald Rayon also suffered injuries in the accident. He was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola with serious injuries and was listed in stable condition.

The driver of the Ford Fusion, 21-year-old Elvia Hargis, and a passenger, 4-year-old Adam Hargis, both of Santa Rosa Beach, were not injured in the accident.

Lara lost control of the Infinity after the collision. He struck a stop sign and a tree just off U.S. 98. Lara and 20-year-old Corey J. Anderson, a passenger and resident of DeFuniak Springs, were taken to Sacred Heart Hospital. Both received minor injuries in the accident. Lara was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter and several other charges. He was booked into Walton County Jail.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida rear-end car accident, 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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