March 25, 2008

Miami Construction Accident Leaves Two Dead

Two workers died today in a construction accident when a 39 story crane collapsed. The crane, which fell from a height of hundreds of feet, landed on the construction site's "safety office," causing the wrongful death of Jeremy Thonsbury, a 21 year old from Tamarac, and another, yet to be identified, worker. According to reports, a seven ton section of the crane struck the safety office.

In addition to Mr. Thornsbury and his co-worker, five other workers were seriously injured in the collapse, including Manuel Souza, a married father of two.

The collapsed occurred while the crane company was in the process of making the crane taller. Amazingly, this horrific tragedy comes on the heels of a similar deadly incident in New York, in which other innocent victims were also killed.

Not surprisingly given the City of Miami's lax regulations, there are no requirements for mandatory inspections of cranes. Unfortunately, for the families of those who died today, a City ordinance attempting to bring these unlicensed and unregulated crane companies into some governmental compliance goes into effect next week.

Considering the construction boom over the past five years in the City of Miami, we cannot understand how there is not strict governmental regulation and oversight of the crane industry, particularly given the devastating destruction their negligence causes. We can only hope the Florida Legislature steps in and requires regular inspections of the entire construction industry.

March 6, 2008

Florida Highway Patrol Cracks Down to Prevent Deadly Car Accidents

Given the increasing number of police officers injured and killed in car accidents, while they are involved in traffic stops along Florida highways, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Broward County Sheriff's Department are starting a zero tolerance initiative to enforce the State's "Move Over" law.

Florida's "Move Over" law mandates drivers leave the lane nearest to a stopped emergency vehicle, whether it is a police officer, fire truck, Road Ranger or tow truck, or if they are unable to move over, motorists are required to drive 20 m.p.h. below the posted speed limit. The Florida Legislature initially passed the law to protect police officers, of whom more than 150 wrongfully die annually while attending to other motorists on the shoulders or sides of roadways.

We too often represent police officers and tow truck drivers, or in many tragic situations, their surviving families, who, while providing a necessary public service, are struck down in the line of duty due to the carelessness or inattentiveness of a driver. We urge all Florida motorists to pay attention to emergency workers and give them the protection they deserve.

March 3, 2008

Ft. Lauderdale Car Accident Results in Wrongful Death of Teenager

In what we truly consider the epitome of a wrongful death and clearly a tragedy, a 19 year old from Oakland Park, a city adjacent to Ft. Lauderdale, who was wearing her seat-belt, died in a car accident Sunday evening.

The accident which occurred on the ramp heading from southbound I-95 to 595, was caused when a "phantom vehicle" swerved into the 19 year old's lane, causing her to take evasive action and strike a large sign post. The vehicle rolled over and the driver died at the scene.

A "phantom vehicle" is what we refer to as a vehicle which causes or contributes to a car accident but leaves the scene of the accident without being identified. The vehicle is a "phantom," rather than a hit and run, because there was no contact between the two vehicles.

We can only pray for the driver's family, as their daughter did everything she could to protect herself. And, we hope that others will not be dissuaded from using their seat-belts, because of this senseless tragedy.

March 2, 2008

Miami Car Accident Results in Death

Friday was a deadly night on the MacCarthur Causeway, the main roadway from Miami to South Beach, as a three car accident resulted in the wrongful death of an occupant of one of the vehicles. The accident occurred when a Toyota sports car collided with a Chevy Blazer and then rolled over.

According to police, they are still trying to determine who was driving the Toyota, because, unfortunately, the occupants of the Toyota were not wearing their seat-belts. The other occupant of the Toyota was taken by Fire Rescue to Mercy Hospital in Coconut Grove.

We are truly saddened by the continuing failure, particularly of young people, to wear their seat-belts. While some serious injuries and deaths occur even with the use of seat-belts, many more lives would be spared with the constant use of such life saving devices.