It took awhile, but the wheels of justice finally turned, and may soon bring closure to the family of Richard KIose. In July 2009, Mr. Klose was killed as a pedestrian by a car being driven by David Lanier, as Mr. Klose attempted to cross Old Canoe Creek Road in St. Cloud, Osceola County.
Mr. Lanier initially told investigators the Mr. Klose walked out in front of him, but there was nothing that he could do to avoid him. However, police determined that Mr. Lanier had cocaine and Xanax in his system at the time of the crash and initially charged him with DUI manslaughter. Because the initial blood test was not designed to reveal the amounts of cocaine and Xanax in Mr. Lanier’s system, and because there is no legal standard for driving while intoxicated due to cocaine and Xanax, the State Attorney chose to drop all charges.
However, police were bothered by the wrongful death of Mr. Klose and refused to let go of the case and instead sent Mr. Lanier’s blood samples to the University of Florida for testing. The blood test results from UF are much more comprehensive, so the State Attorney has decided to re-open the case against Mr. Lanier. An arrest warrant has been issued, but Mr. Lanier cannot currenlty be found.
We certainly hope that Mr. Lanier can be located, and that he will have to answer for what he has done. In our experience, many drivers who hit and kill pedestrians get a free pass for their carelessness. After all, the next best eyewitness in the pedestrian wrongful death case — the pedestrian — can’t very well testify for himself. Drivers need to keep a constant lookout for everything going on around them, including pedestrians.