Police in Escambia County have arrested and charged a man with two counts of DUI manslaughter and driving with a suspended license in a crash resulting in death. Officers with the Florida Highway Patrol said that 28-year-old Jamie Ty Hamrick was driving south on North Palafox Street near Sharmon Street when his Honda Civic ran off the road, crashed into a ditch, flew into the air, and overturned into a tree at around 2:50 a.m.
Two passengers in the vehicle, 25-year-old La'Phontae DeWayne Lewis and 32-year-old Antion Wade Lindsay, were ejected from the vehicle and pronounced deceased at the scene. Hamrick was not injured in the crash.
Hamrick was also arrested on an unrelated DUI charge on September 22 and released on a $1,000 bond. He is now being held in Escambia County Jail without bond.
Michael Haggard represents drunk driving victims and their family, helping them recover the financial compensation they deserve. We've asked him to contribute some thoughts on the legal options available to these victims in Florida:
When a drunk driver causes an accident that results in injury or death, the victims and their families have a couple of options for legal recourse. First, residents of all 50 states have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit directly against the drunk driver. Additionally, Florida and many other states have dram shop laws that allow these victims to file lawsuits against alcohol vendors who provided alcohol to the driver on the night of the crash.
According to Florida's dram shop law, alcohol vendors can be held liable for alcohol-related accidents, injuries, and deaths if the vendor provided alcohol to someone who was either under age 21 or to a person "habitually addicted" to alcohol.
If you or someone you love was injured or killed in an accident with a drunk driver, you can learn more about your family's legal options by speaking with an experienced DUI victims lawyer.