NAPLES, FL (December 12, 2019) – According to an online news article published by www.nbc-2.com, a 17-year-old high school football player has been arrested on suspicion of being involved in a hit-and-run accident that left one woman with serious injuries.
On August 21, 2019, a woman was on her way to work when she was struck by a vehicle that fled the scene of the accident. The woman was severely injured and laid unconscious in the grass shoulder of the road for approximately 35 minutes until landscaping workers saw the woman and came to her aid. The woman was taken to the hospital, where she remained for more than two weeks. The woman's injuries included a broken leg, broken back, broken neck, broken ribs, and a ruptured, bleeding liver and spleen.
The alleged driver of the vehicle is a 17-year-old Florida high school football player who was recently arrested according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The arrest report indicates that the accused teenager was driving his father's truck at the time he struck the woman. The teenager allegedly hit the woman from behind, stopped the truck to get out and pick up a broken piece of a headlight from the road, and then got back into the truck. He subsequently drove off without calling the police.
Law enforcement officials state that the headlight from the accident matched the suspect's truck. On August 26, 2019, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) received an anonymous tip that stated the driver of the vehicle was a teenager. On September 11, 2019, the FHP found a 2006 Ford F-150. On that same day, the Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers received a tip stating that the accused teenager was driving the truck, which was given to a cousin whose husband works for a Ford dealership.
The anonymous tip also stated that the accused teenager's brother used a friend's Amazon account to order a replacement headlight for the truck involved in the hit-and-run accident. Additionally, according to the arrest report, the school resource officer at the high school attended by the accused teenager is the father of the accused teenager's best friend, also a student and football player at the same high school. The arrest report goes on to state that the school resource officer knew about the damage to the truck involved in the hit-and-run accident.
The accused teenager ultimately turned himself in on November 18, 2019, for felony hit-and-run.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Under Florida Law
Under Florida Statute Section 316.061 and Section 316.062, it is unlawful for a person to flee the scene of an accident that causes damage to a vehicle or property and fail to render aid to an injured person at the scene. The laws require a person to do the following if involved in an accident that causes damage to a vehicle or property:
- Immediately stop the damaged vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close as possible to the scene of the accident; and
- Remain at the scene of the accident and render aid to any person who has sustained injuries until emergency personnel arrives.
A person who flees the scene of an accident may be found guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $500. If the accident involves any injured individuals, the charge of fleeing the scene of an accident becomes a third-degree felony which is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a fine not to exceed $5,000. If a hit-and-run accident causes the death of another, the charge of fleeing the scene of an accident becomes a first-degree felony which is punishable by up to 30 years in jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000.