A 21-year-old woman attending the University of Central Florida is in a coma in the local hospital’s intensive care unit after falling victim to what may be a drugged driver. Her family says that her injuries are so severe that they do not expect her to live.
A 25-year-old man who allegedly hit her as she walked near her campus has been charged with leaving the scene of the accident and driving under the influence resulting in serious bodily harm — for now. It’s likely that the charges will be upgraded if the young woman passes away.
While the driver blew a .000 on the Breathalyzer test that police administered, officers suspect that drugs may be involved. Blood tests are pending in the case to determine what may have been in his system.
Police say the young man was in two separate accidents that night, fled both scenes and was ultimately located sleeping on the open ground in a parking lot behind his car. Officers say that he was slurring his words, stumbling and had glassy eyes. He claimed not to remember either accident — although authorities say the young woman’s blood and hair were found on his car’s windshield.
According to the statements the victim’s father made in court, she is suffering from brain damage. He says she’s also missing parts of her skull and her right eye. She has broken legs and other injuries. She is breathing with the assistance of a respirator.
While the state has an obligation to prosecute drivers who break the law and recklessly put themselves and others in danger, that doesn’t always help the victim or the victim’s family obtain compensation for medical bills, burial costs and damages. To obtain that compensation, most people have to turn to personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.
The consequences of a pedestrian accident can change the lives of everyone involved — and put a significant financial burden on the victim’s family. It’s only reasonable to seek to hold the negligent driver accountable.