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Florida driver hit with DUI manslaughter after fatal accident

A 21-year-old Florida driver was recently arrested on suspicion of fatally striking a man with his truck. Investigators with the Florida Highway Patrol say the serious car accident occurred in June, when the suspect allegedly lost control of his vehicle, veered onto the shoulder of the road and collided with a construction worker.

The 19-year-old worker, who had been putting up a speed limit sign in a construction zone, was killed in the collision. He had a 4-month-old daughter and had recently graduated from a local high school.

Police say the suspect was arrested approximately one month after the accident in connection with a separate incident. The arrest occurred after a sheriff's deputy pulled the man over for speeding and noticed that the man's speech was slurred and that he had a loaded rifle sitting next to him in his truck's cab. The suspect was charged with driving while impaired and operating a firearm under the influence of alcohol but was eventually released.

The suspect now faces charges for his role in the June accident. He was arrested in late December after the results of a toxicology test led to an arrest warrant being issued. He has been charged with two counts of DUI with property damage and one count of DUI manslaughter. He is set to be transferred to a county jail to await trial. It is unclear whether he will be allowed to post bail.

With an arrest finally made, the victim's family now has a clearer picture of how to proceed. They could be within their rights to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit that seeks to hold the man accountable for his dangerous actions. A conviction in criminal court could help strengthen a civil case.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, "Troopers arrest 21-year-old driver accused of hitting, killing construction worker," Marissa Lang, Dec. 10, 2011

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