The Automobile Collision Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Straile, PLLC take note of yet another fatal collision occurring in Lake City. This accident is one amongst multiple accidents occurring in this community and surrounding areas within Columbia County, over the past few months that has resulted in either death or serious injury.
According to Florida Highway Patrol, 19-year-old Michaela Johnson, of Lake City, was headed westbound on SW Pinemount Rd., on the evening of April 20, 2014. Traveling in her vehicle, a 1996 Chevrolet Corvette, was her 24-year-old passenger, Lamarr Dell, also of Lake City. Officials say that Johnson was traveling at a high rate of speed, when she lost control of the vehicle, and apparently traveled off the road and onto a grassy shoulder. Police say the driver attempted to regain control by steering the car in the opposite direction, which caused the vehicle to begin spinning in the direction of her attempted correction. Consequently, the Corvette then traveled onto a grassy shoulder on the other side of the road, where the passenger side of the vehicle collided head-on with a large oak tree.
Tragically Johnson’s passenger, Lamarr McCall Dell, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Although Johnson survived the incident, officials say she was ejected from the vehicle, and sustained serious injuries. She was transported to UF Health Shands in critical condition. The Law Office of Alba & Straile, PLLC send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Lamarr Dell, as they grieve the tragic loss of a loved one. At the same time, we hope that the driver is able to pull through and recover from her injuries.
While authorities are still investigating the crash, what is known at this time, is that neither the driver nor passenger were restrained by a seat-belt at the time the wreck occurred. Although it may seem needless or inappropriate to reflect upon the ‘what ifs’ of this incident, given the nature of our profession—auto collision attorneys—we are compelled to consider whether the outcome may have been different had the victims been wearing their seat belts.
In this particular scenario, given the facts available following the incident, it seems that, at least in the case of Johnson, the extent of injury may have been significantly reduced if the driver had been seat-belted. For Dell, it would be difficult to even attempt making any conclusory statements as to whether the use of a seatbelt may have saved his life, particularly because the point of impact occurred on the passenger side of the vehicle.
As Wrongful Death Attorneys, we understand the devastation that can occur, when an unexpected event suddenly takes the life of a member of your family. Heartbreakingly, Dell leaves behind an extensive family, as stated in his obituary, including 9 brothers and sisters. His family states that they are drawing comfort from the following scripture: “And He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning, nor outcry, nor pain be anymore. The former things will have passed away.”
If a member of your family was killed as a result of a car accident that was caused by the actions of another, it is important to know that, in addition to death benefits under PIP, the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation through other means as well. While nothing can ever really replace the loss of a loved one, it can certainly help a family to be able to properly grieve, without the added worry over expenses related to the victim’s death. Click here to view more information on Florida’s Wrongful Death Act.