Driver Involved in Child’s Death May Not Be Charged
Friends and family of 14-year-old Clay County student Gianna Asencio gathered recently for a vigil to mourn the young girl’s tragic death. According to police reports by the Florida Highway Patrol, at 6:40 a.m. Gianna was attempting to cross Eagle Harbor Parkway near the intersection of Woodlake Drive on her way to her bus stop. Upon attempting to cross the street, she was struck by a Mercury Grand Marquis that was driven by a 58-year-old Orange Park man and subsequently died on the scene.
Gianna lived right across the street from the bus stop that she was trying to reach. She rode the bus to Fleming Island High School, where she was a freshman. According to the Florida Highway Patrol Troopers. Gianna was walking within the parameters of crosswalk, but was trying to cross between two cars when she was struck by the vehicle. Classmates of Gianna were on the bus, the same bus that Gianna was crossing the street to board, at the time of the accident and witnessed the entire scene. Students from the school stated that the school spent the rest of the day silent and grieving for the loss of their fellow classmate.
At this time, troopers who were investigating this tragic accident stated that it was not clear whether or not the driver of the Mercury Grand Marquis would be charged with the incident. Florida Highway Patrol Captain Keith Gaston commented on the accident stating, “I would not think at this point that there was a speed situation. One car passed, then she tried to cross between the first car and the second car. My assumption is that because of the time of the day, with the vehicles being dark in color, that she may have just not seen the second car.” He further stated that, “The driver is very upset.”
According to those who live in the area, the crosswalk is equipped with a crossing sign and a decreased speed limit that is effective during the early morning hours before the elementary school begins for the day. Nicholas Blackman, another student who uses the crosswalk as means to get to school, stated the crossing the intersection makes him nervous at times. He further stated that “Sometimes [the cars] slow down to let us cross. We usually wait for a break in cars to cross. Even though you check both ways, you never know what’s gonna come speeding down. It’s early in the morning and a lot of people are trying to get to work.” According to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, at the time the accident took place, there was not an active school zone or a crossing guard working in the area. The school zone that is in the area is not activated until after 7:15 a.m. and is for the Fleming Island Elementary School.
Has This Happened to You?
Even if the driver of the Mercury Grand Marquis is not charged criminally, there is a chance that the family may still be able to recover in a civil lawsuit. In situations like this, families do have other options in which to recover for their loved ones untimely death. The family could pursue a wrongful death suit, in which the victim’s family must prove that the other party was being negligent, and as a direct result of their negligence their loved one died.
If you believe that your love one was killed due to the fault of another person, contact us at Boone & Davis today in Fort Lauderdale. Let us evaluate your case and see if you have a viable claim. If you claim is valid, we promise to fight for you to recover just compensation.