The Orlando Sentinel reported a sad story that caught my interest this morning. Apparently, Justino Herrera Beltran was attempting to cross Orange Blossom Trail near Zellwood when he was initially hit by a pickup truck being driven by a man from Eustis. Authorities report that the initial collision occurred at approximately 7:40PM.
Although we obviously don’t know exactly what happened, we know that 7:40PM is about dusk this time of year, so it is possible that the pickup driver did not see Mr. Beltran as he tried to cross a fairly undeveloped stretch of U.S. 441.
My concern is over what reportedly happened next. Again, we don’t know exactly what happened, but apparently a Michigan man was operating a semi tractor-trailer some distance behind the pickup. Reportedly, the semi driver was also not able to stop his truck and ran over Mr. Beltran a second time. Mr. Beltran tragically died at the scene.
As an Orlando accident attorney, I wonder whether, if Mr. Beltran was still alive after the first impact, the semi driver could potentially be held liable for causing his wrongful death by the second impact. Drivers have an affirmative duty to follow a safe distance behind vehicles in front of them. Commercial drivers have additional safety burdens placed upon them by virtue of their professional driver training and by the size of the vehicles they are operating to give extra distance in front of them. It would seem reasonable that the semi tractor-trailer driver should have had enough room to see the commotion in front of him and to avoid the body lying in the road.
Our thoughts obviously go out to the Herrara Beltran family on their tragic loss. These types of losses are always horrible for family members and other loved ones.
If you have any questions regarding a Florida trucking accident, call Winter Park personal injury lawyer Kim Cullen at 407-644-4444.