The Villages bicyclists group leaders recently met with local prosecutors to urge them to seek heavy punishment for drivers involved in a pair of recent hit-and-run accidents.
Members of Sumter Landing Bicycle Club sat down with prosecutors in the Sumter County State Attorney’s Office to discuss the two recent crashes in which three club members were injured. The drivers accused of causing both accidents fled the scene of the crashes, Villages-News reports.
The meeting was called for club officials to tell prosecutors about “the significance and popularity of bicycling in The Villages, what the impact of these crimes has had on it, and the SLBC Board’s concern that a light punishment for these felonies would minimize deterrence and expose our riders to additional risk during the many hours they ride,” the club said in a newsletter for members.
Villager Ken Nevers was injured in November when a silver Jaguar collided with his bike on Hillsborough Trail near Manatee Recreation Center. The driver, William Croop, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with serious injuries.
That crash came just days after two other Villages residents were mowed down on their bicycle by a driver who did not stick around to help.
Villagers Jessica Laube and Robert Hunter were injured when their bikes were struck by a Mercedes-Benz that cops say was driven by Villager Marilyn Hamilton. Police later found Hamilton’s car, which was said to be damaged in the collision, at an auto repair shop in Gainesville. She was charged with two counts of hit and run.
The accidents and charges spotlight the risk of riding a bicycle in the Villages, a popular mode of transportation and recreation that many Villagers enjoy the whole year-round. Although there are several safety precautions that cyclists can take to protect themselves - including wearing a helmet - accidents can and do happen.
A cyclist who is injured in an accident with a car has the right to seek compensation from those responsible, whether it is a negligent driver or another party. The money damages available under the law 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. Drivers are required to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner, complying with traffic laws, maintaining safe speeds, and refraining from risky behavior like drinking and driving or texting behind the wheel. A driver who does not live up to this responsibility is negligent and liable for any resulting accidents.
Speak With a Villages Injury Lawyer
Villages injury lawyer Tim Babiarz has been fighting for decades to help people hurt in a wide range of accidents in The Villages and across the region.
Tim is an aggressive litigator committed to helping clients get the maximum compensation available under the law. He has a strong track record of success, working tirelessly to ensure that his clients’ rights are protected.
Our office is conveniently located in The Villages. We are also proud to represent people throughout the area, including Ocala, Leesburg, Lady Lake, Wildwood, Summerfield, and anywhere in Central Florida. Call (352) 205-7599 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a Villages injury lawyer.