A South Tampa school community is grieving the loss of a teacher killed in a car accident this past Friday. The teacher and her husband had been driving with their young granddaughter when they were struck by a pickup truck. The granddaughter was the only survivor of the fatal crash.
While family and friends mourn their loss, many are likely wondering whether this accident could have been prevented. The man who had been in the pickup truck had a history of seizures, even causing a crash several years ago because he lost consciousness while driving.
The earlier accident resulted in a rear-end collision in a parking lot. And while there is no indication that anyone was seriously hurt or killed, a police officer recommended that the man undergo an examination to determine whether he should be allowed to drive. There is little information regarding how the state responded to the recommendation, only that no charges were filed and the man kept his driver's license.
The man's family says that the seizures are rare and come unexpectedly. This is likely what happened last Friday. The man had been driving home from work when he lost consciousness and control of his pickup. He crashed into the van, killing two and injuring a third.
Should someone have stopped him from driving? Many people knew that he suffered from seizures, including his doctor and his employer. Yet he still drove his car to work despite knowing the consequences that could result.
The consequences of this accident are far-reaching. The teacher's son not only has to deal with the loss of his parents but he also is facing the possibility of his daughter having brain damage from the crash. He probably has a lot of questions about the accident and why the man still had his license.
Hopefully when police complete their investigation of the accident, they will also have some answers to some of the questions that many may have.
Source: Tampaybay.com: "Report says driver in fatal crash also lost consciousness in a 2007 accident," Jessica Vander Velde, St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 25, 2011