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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Florida Accident Kills Two Teens; Two More Injured

An auto accident just after midnight on State Road 60 near Plant City, Florida, has killed two teenagers. Two others are listed in serious and critical condition respectively. According to authorities, the two vehicles, a 1999 Jeep Cherokee and a 1996 Ford Ranger were driving side by side when one vehicle apparently clipped the other. The Ranger left the road and hit a tree, killing 17-year-old Nicolas Marcotrigiano. The Cherokee hit a fence, then a tree and overturned. The top of the SUV was ripped off, ejecting 15-year-old Hailey Weatherly. Both Weatherly and Marcotrigiano were the drivers of the vehicles.

Brandon Simonds, 17, the passenger in Marcotrigiano’s vehicle is in critical condition. Amelia Gold, 16, the passenger in the SUV Weatherly was driving, is in serious condition. None of the teens were wearing their seatbelts, and Weatherly only had a learner’s permit.

Florida law states that a licensed driver who is at least 21-years-old much be in the front seat with the person who has the learner’s permit. Furthermore, driving restrictions apply, where a motor vehicle may only be driven during daylight the first three months after receiving a learner’s permit, and then only until 10:00pm after. A 17-year-old driver cannot drive between 1:00 and 5:00am unless accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21-year-old, unless they are driving to or from work. The accident happened at roughly 12:15am.

Questions about Cause

While inexperience and darkness may have played a role in the accident, investigators do not believe speed was a factor. What’s more, Mary Smude who lives near where the accident occurred, states that there have been a high number of fatal accidents within a one-mile stretch of the four lane highway in front of her house. She states that most of the fatal accidents occur in the westbound lanes, at night, and sometimes when the road is wet. These factors were all in play early Monday.

Hundreds of thousands of people are killed and injured every year in auto accidents. Many of them are teens who do not yet have a firm grasp on their driving ability. While some states have increased the driving age, or added more rules to those between 15 and 18, kids have a way of getting behind the wheel and doing things that are sometimes dangerous or foolish – as well as not yet knowing what they can do due to inexperience. Some of these things may have been the reason both Hailey and Nicolas lost their lives on August 4, 2008.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 10:38 AM

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