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November 6, 2009

An article published recently in the Orlando Sentinel describes a hit-and-run pedestrian accident that claimed the life of a 16-year-old Leesburg High student from Okahumpka. A car hit the young man as he walked along County Road 33 on October 4 while talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone. After the pedestrian accident, the victim was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center where he died when taken off life support.

The victim’s mother has urged law enforcement authorities to investigate the pedestrian accident, but the lack of publicity in the case has made her uncertain whether or not the police were looking for the driver who struck the young man and fled from the scene. She went public recently with her dissatisfaction about the lack of cooperation and communication in the case.

“They left my son laying face down in a ditch for 45 minutes,” she said this week. “That 45 minutes could have saved my son’s life…My 10-year-old son wants to know why this happened to his brother. I want to have some kind of closure on this—why my baby had to be taken from me. I have not seen anybody since the day they came to my house and told me my son was hit.”

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office were the first to respond to the pedestrian accident, but turned the case over to the Florida Highway Patrol. After the mother made repeated inquiries about the case, Sgt. Kim Montes located the case in the department’s computer system.

“As to why the PIO wasn’t notified, I don’t know,” Montes said after finding the incident report. “I haven’t had a chance to talk to those two investigators yet. Per our policy, they’re supposed to send me a press release on any fatality.”

The computer system shows that the FHP received the call at 8:40 p.m. that evening and arrived on the scene at 9:24 p.m., the victim was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition at about 8:52 p.m. and the parent was notified about the accident around 10:08 p.m. that night. The driver of the vehicle that struck the teen and fled from the scene was identified as a 29-year-old woman also from Okahumpka.

Pedestrian accidents claim over 100 lives each year in Florida, and thousands more suffer severe injuries that require long and expensive stays in the hospital. Expensive medical care and other accident-related expenses cause terrible financial hardship for victims and their families. Orlando pedestrian accident attorney James O. Cunningham has been helping victims and their families receive the compensation they deserve to help with expenses since 1977. If you or someone you care for has been hurt or killed in a pedestrian accident, call the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham today to schedule a 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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