Sneeze Seems Like Feeble Excuse In Flagler Wrongful Death Bicycle Crash
As a lawyer who has handled Florida car accident cases for nearly 20 years, it is easy to think, “I’ve seen it all.” However, every time that I think I’ve heard of every possible excuse for why a driver has caused a car accident, an explanation comes along that surprises me.
The latest excuse comes from a story on ClickOrlando.com and involves a Flagler County accident where a bicyclist was tragically killed after being hit by a car. Apparently Frederick Martinez was riding in his bike eastbound – in the bicycle lane – on Highway 100, near Old Kings Road. As Mr. Martinez rode his bike, a van driving in the same direction apparently veered into the bicycle lane and hit him. Mr. Martinez was pronounced dead at the scene.
The attached photo shows that Highway 100 has a wide shoulder/bike lane, and more than enough room for a bicyclist to expect safe riding.
Apparently, the driver of the van attributed his causing the wrongful death of Mr. Martinez to a sneeze.
Although I do not have any statistics on how often drivers sneeze while operating their vehicles, it occurs to me that sneezes happen thousands and thousands of times each day without causing accidents. It also occurs to me that if the van driver had been giving Mr. Martinez the three feet of safe passing distance that is required of cars overtaking bicycles under Florida law, he might have had enough time to sneeze, recover, and still avoid causing the wrongful death of Mr. Martinez.
I don’t know who the van driver is, or anything about him, but this sneeze explanation rings hollow to me. Our hearts go out to Mr. Martinez’ family, and we hope that the van driver accepts responsibility for the tragedy he has caused.
If you have questions following a Florida automobile or bicycle accident, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901.