A Winter Haven man faces the possibility of jail for leaving the scene of an accident he insists he did not realize had occurred. The 21 year-old pleaded no contest to charges of leaving the scene of an accident last November 13 in which a 47 year-old motorcyclist was killed .
The motorcycle driver was drunk at the time of the early morning crash. He plowed his bike into the rear of a large truck being driven by the younger man. After the impact, the truck driver looked in his mirrors but didn’t see anything, so he drove off. The motorcycle and the victim were on the ground, out of the mirrors’ view. Failing to get out of the truck and check more closely resulted in charges of leaving the scene of an injury crash which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
The 21 year-old will be sentenced on November. After he entered his plea the judge told the defendant he did not have “the foggiest idea” what sort of punishment he will impose, but he will “sentence you to what I think is appropriate after I have listened to all the evidence.” Originally prosecutors charged the truck driver with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, which carries a 30 year prison sentence.
The family of the dead man is not pleased with the prospect of only five years behind bars. The victim’s brother claims the defendant must have known something hit his truck, but he didn’t check and left the scene. He told a reporter that the five year term was “a complete slap in the face.”
Source: NewsChief.com, “Man enters plea in death,” Jason Geary, Sep. 29, 2012