A fatal accident can occur at any place or time, and for families the sudden loss of a loved one can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. If the loss is due to the negligence of another party, that individual may face criminal charges as well as a wrongful death lawsuit suit filed by the family of the deceased.
Before a suit can be filed, however, an investigation must be undertaken to show that there was negligence involved. Such an investigation is presently occurring over the death of a college dean recently killed in a tow truck accident in a Broward suburb.
The accident occurred on Jan. 16 at about 6:30 p.m. when the 56-year-old college dean noticed a tow-truck driver from a company hired by his neighborhood's homeowner's association attempting to tow the dean's white Mercedes. The vehicle was parked in the dean's driveway, but a portion of the car extended onto the sidewalk due to there being three vehicles parked in the driveway instead of the association-approved two.
One of the vehicles in the driveway belonged to a therapist who was visiting the home to treat the dean's autistic child.
What occurred next remains to be clarified. According to the driver of the tow truck, the dean's wife and son attacked him, and the dean jumped from the truck's running boards and was then accidentally run over by the Mercedes. According to an attorney representing the dean's family, witnesses saw the dean pleading with the driver to stop taking the vehicle away; the witnesses then saw the driver speeding away, causing the Mercedes to run over the dean. No charges have been filed, but police said that the investigation is ongoing.
The tow truck company has been problematic for the association in the past. The company was even fired in 2011 but has since been rehired. According to Florida records, the company now no longer exists, and the listed owner claims it's being operated by another individual.
Miami residents may want to keep an eye on this case as it unfolds. It may well be the case that the family has grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Source: Miami Herald, "Death of college dean in tow truck accident shocks community," Michael Vasquez, Jan. 22, 2013