Man killed in Florida crash when woman brakes for squirrel

A Texas man was killed in a four-vehicle accident on State Road 54 near Trinity on March 31. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the chain-reaction crash began when a motorist braked for a small animal.

Authorities said that a 38-year-old New Port Richey woman was traveling eastbound on State Road 54 when she stopped in the center lane for a squirrel near Trophy Boulevard around 10:40 a.m. In response, an 18-year-old New Port Richey man driving a Volkswagen behind her swerved into the next lane to avoid a crash. However, he collided with her vehicle and a Dodge van. The impact of the collision forced the Dodge over the median and into oncoming westbound traffic where it struck a 2008 Toyota pickup truck head-on.

The driver of the Toyota, a 68-year-old man from Carlton, Texas, suffered undisclosed injuries and was transported to a local health care facility where he later died. The driver of the Dodge, a 65-year-old Land O’ Lakes man, was treated for minor injuries at another hospital. The woman who stopped for the squirrel and the Volkswagen driver suffered minor injuries but were not hospitalized. The crash closed down the highway for a period of time as authorities investigated and cleared the scene. Authorities indicated that criminal charges are pending.

When a fatal motor vehicle collision is caused by the negligent actions of another driver, the deceased victim’s family members may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss the remedies that may be available. Through the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit, the family may be able to recover damages that could include funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and loss of companionship.

Source: New Port Richey Patch, “Update: 1 Dead Following Crash Involving Squirrel,” Sherri London, April 7, 2015