A 91-year-old Villages woman was recently sentenced to spend half a decade behind bars over a hit-and-run crash that caused serious injuries to a pair of bicyclists.
The woman pleaded guilty in Sumter County court to charges stemming from the collision, Villages-News reports. The accident happened in October 2020 when the woman slammed her Mercedes-Benz into the Village of Dunedin couple on Morse Boulevard near Bonita Boulevard.
“Witnesses told the Florida Highway Patrol that [the driver] got out of her vehicle, saw the husband and wife crumpled in the road, got back into her car and drove away,” Villages-News reports. “The vehicle was later recovered at the Mercedes dealership in Gainesville, where it was being repaired.”
The bicyclists survived the crash but suffered significant injuries. The male bike rider told the judge that he was still coping with brain injuries from the accident. His wife, who was not able to attend the court proceeding, also suffered brain injuries, as well as 17 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a paralyzed vocal cord and other broken bones.
She slammed the car driver in a victim impact statement provided to the court.
“She’s a heartless monster who only thinks of herself,” the woman wrote. “She’s been allowed to get away with this for more than two years.”
A Sumter County judge denied pleas for leniency from the driver and her attorney.
“The impact of what you did is felt by (the victims), but what happened afterward is what impacts you,” Judge Don Briggs said. “If you had stayed, things would have been much different for you.”
The driver was convicted on two counts of leaving the scene of a crash involving a serious injury to a vulnerable road user, according to Villages-News. She also faces a separate personal injury lawsuit by the bicyclists.
Injured in a Bike Accident? Know Your Rights
Bicycle accidents like this one are all too common in the Villages, where many residents opt to travel on two wheels.
Hit-and-run crashes not only add insult to injury but also can delay necessary medical attention for people injured in a crash. That is not to mention that fleeing the scene of a collision can make it harder to identify a negligent driver and hold the person legally responsible.
A cyclist who is injured in an accident with a car in Florida has the right to seek compensation from those responsible. The monetary damages available in these cases include compensation for doctors' bills and related costs, as well as property damage and any impact of the injuries on a person’s ability to earn income.
To get that compensation, you have to be able to prove negligence. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help.
Speak With a The Villages Personal Injury Attorney
The Villages personal injury attorney Tim Babiarz has been fighting for people injured in crashes throughout the region for more than two decades. Tim is a tenacious litigator, committed to helping people get back on their feet with the full compensation available under the law.
Our office is conveniently located in the Villages. We are also proud to represent clients throughout the area, including in Ocala, Leesburg, Lady Lake, Wildwood, Summerfield and beyond. Call (352) 205-7559 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a Villages accident attorney.