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Car Crashes Bring Tragedy to Many Communities in SWFL

While it may be true that there are more people on the roadways of Southwest Florida’s big cities, drivers in some of our smaller cities are not immune from being involved in a serious car crash. Quiet, suburban areas like Port Charlotte, Venice, Sebring and the rural areas of Arcadia have had their share of devastating vehicle accidents lately, some of which involved a driver who was found to be drunk behind the wheel.

Just north of Venice, a former football coach at Braden River High School was driving home from an event on March 21st when his vehicle overturned on State Road 681, near the I-75 interchange. The former educator, Josh Hunter, lost control of his car, causing passenger Doug Garrity to be ejected. Garrity, who was Hunter’s best friend and a fellow coach at the same school, was not wearing his seat belt, according to Florida Highway Patrol reports. He died from his injuries a day after the accident. Investigators say evidence shows Hunter was impaired at the time of the crash. After receiving results from toxicology tests on Hunter, the FHP investigators have said they have enough evidence to support charging Hunter with DUI manslaughter.

In Port Charlotte, a pickup truck driven by 19-year-old Chad M. Zeeman ended up in a water-filled drainage ditch alongside Bermont Road, after the driver lost control of the vehicle on September 18th. His passenger, Matthew R. Pouk, also 19, was not wearing a seatbelt, and was killed as a result of the crash. Zeeman was wearing a seatbelt, and was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. It has not yet been determined if alcohol played a role in the accident, and the investigation is still ongoing.

On August 19th, two people were killed in an Arcadia crash on County Road 760-A near Taylor Avenue, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. A Port Charlotte woman, Sarah Blanton, and a Sebring man, Lucas Taylor, died from their injuries suffered in the crash. Two other passengers in Blanton’s vehicle also suffered critical injuries. Blanton’s Chrysler was struck by a Chevy pickup driven by 17-year-old Arcadia resident Brandon Beard. He and his passengers, Dillan Head and Ryan Young, also both 17, all suffered serious injuries, as well. The FHP reports that their investigation remains ongoing, and no conclusions have been determined as to whether alcohol was a factor in the fatal crash.

Florida personal injury lawyer P.J. Scheiner of the Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner Personal Injury Lawyers law firm says that even in remote, sparsely populated areas of Southwest Florida, car crashes can be a life changing, fatal occurrence. “Sadly, and especially when a drunk driver is behind the wheel, devastating accidents happen on roads that may be poorly lighted, or paved unevenly. Excessive speed is sometimes a factor, as these roads are in outlying, rural areas where fewer law enforcement patrols are in place.”

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner Personal Injury lawyers, P.A., has a history of focusing on justice and suing drunk drivers on behalf of those injured or killed because of a car crash. Our expert and dedicated family of lawyers and support staff reaches throughout Southwest Florida, with 7 area offices to serve those in need of aggressive legal representation. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident caused by the negligence of another, contact us today at one of our offices, conveniently located to serve you:

Fort Myers Headquarters
4020 Evans Ave.
Fort Myers, Florida 33901 Map and Driving Directions
1.800.Dial.BLS
Arcadia
301D N. Brevard Ave.
Arcadia, Florida 34266-4501 Map and Driving Directions
1.800.Dial.BLS
Cape Coral

1407 Del Prado Blvd. South, Suite 11 Cape Coral, Florida 33990-3704 Map and Driving Directions
1.800.Dial.BLS
Naples
2650B Airport Road S.
Naples, Florida 34112-4886 Map and Driving Directions
1.800.Dial.BLS
Port Charlotte

4456 Tamiami Trail B15 Port Charlotte, Florida 33980-2136 Map and Driving Directions
1.800.Dial.BLS
Sebring
2343 US Highway 27S Sebring, Florida 33870-4926 Map and Driving Directions
1.800.Dial.BLS

Venice
199 Center Road Venice, Florida 34285-5572 Map and Driving Directions
1.800.Dial.BLS