One person was killed and another critically injured after a suspected drunk driver crashed into a vehicle on US-41 on Saturday, August 11. Shortly after 3 a.m., 43-year-old Edgar Harris was driving his truck south along US-41 near the intersection of Daniels Parkway. He then allegedly crashed into the back of a car stopped at a red light. A 23-year-old passenger in that vehicle named Jairo Regalado was killed in the collision, and 23-year-old passenger Daniel Lozano was critically injured. 20-year-old driver Juan Regalado was not injured.
Harris attempted to flee the scene after the crash. Officers found him near Andrea Lane and arrested him. He has been charged with DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash with injury or death.
Here is attorney contributor Michael Haggard with some legal commentary on the legal rights of drunk driving victims and their families:
In Florida, a staggering amount of accidents are caused by drunk drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 8,476 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver between 2003 and 2012. This means that during that time, tens of thousands of family and friends have been forced to grieve for a loved one taken away too soon because another motorist made the reckless decision to drive drunk.
The families of fatal drunk driving accident victims may find some sense of justice by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. This can help provide financial compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, including medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of financial support from the deceased, pain and suffering, and more.
Additionally, Florida has dram shop laws that allow alcohol vendors (such as bars, clubs, and restaurants) to be held liable if they served alcohol to a minor under age 21 or to someone who they knew to be "habitually addicted" to alcohol.