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Driver in fatal accident faces multiple charges

Drivers don’t always realize that when they leave the scene of a serious accident, they are doing more than breaking the law. They are putting people’s lives at risk, not to mention getting themselves into even deeper hot water. A recent crash is no exception.

A 30-year-old man from Polk County is facing charges after he caused a car accident that took the life of 22-year-old man from Lake Wales, and then fled the scene.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred at about 11 p.m. on a recent evening after the man’s 1996 GMC Jimmy left State Road 25 and traveled into the median. The vehicle flipped multiple times before bursting into flames.

A 22-year-old passenger was pronounced dead at the scene, after he had been thrown from the SUV and landed on the roadway.

The driver and one of his passengers apparently fled into the woods after the crash. The passenger was allegedly later seen by a witness fleeing the scene by truck before police arrived, leaving the other passengers behind, according to a report by the sheriff’s office. The driver was located, however.

The driver was treated for his injuries at Tampa General Hospital. The man is now charged with DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of a crash involving death and operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license, among other charges. Because he fled the scene of the accident, the charges are more serious than they would have been if he had just stayed at the scene, helped those in need and waited for authorities.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Driver faces DUI manslaughter charge after fatal rollover,” Kevin P. Connolly, Feb. 15, 2012

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