I was saddened to read a story in the Orlando Sentinel about an Evans High School Senior who was tragically killed in Osceola County as he walked on the shoulder of the road. Apparently, Richard Lawson was operating a Ford pickup truck on Vineland Road in Kissimmee, when he lost control of the vehicle causing it to leave the roadway to the right and strike the young pedestrian. The high schooler was unfortunately pronounced dead at the scene.
Law enforcement officials had not completed their investigation when the story was published, and did not yet know whether alcohol or drugs were involved.
Unfortunately, this story is becoming all too common in Central Florida. Many area residents will remember the story of Miguel and Anthony Rodriguez – two brothers who were hit by a car as they walked on the shoulder of the road on their way to University High School. In that case, the suspected driver, Eric Wydra — who still has not been charged with the death of Miguel Rodriguez, by the way — had allegedly been drinking or using drugs until shortly before accident.
In my experience as an Orlando wrongful death attorney there are generally two reasons that drivers leave the roadway and hit pedestrians: (1) alcohol or drugs, or (2) distracted driving such as texting while driving, or talking on a mobile phone. It would no surprise me to learn that Mr. Lawson was either drunk, or doing something involving a cell phone. These are clearly negligent acts, and might even expose Mr. Lawson to punitive damages.
Our hearts go out to the family of this young man over this tragic loss.
If you need information about Orlando car accidents, or have questions, call Orlando accident attorney Kim Cullen at 407-644-4444.