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Florida hit-and-run suspect arrested

The Florida Highway Patrol has arrested a man it believes was involved in a hit-and-run accident in February that left a motorcyclist dead. Authorities have charged the 43-year-old suspect with traveling at an excessive speed given the road conditions at the time, as well as leaving the site of a fatal accident.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the February motorcycle accident occurred as the suspect was traveling southbound on a state road in an SUV. A representative for the patrol claimed the man was "driving too fast," as it was raining at the time. According to the FHP, the man struck the victim's motorcycle form behind at around 7 p.m., throwing the victim into the road's northbound lanes, where he was hit by two additional vehicles.

Police allege that the suspect fled the scene of the accident without stopping to assist the victim or provide his personal information as required by law. They claim the man abandoned his vehicle in the parking lot of a store in a nearby town. He contacted a friend to transport him, but that friend has not been charged, because she has cooperated with investigators.

After the FHP seized the vehicle and delivered it to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Crime Lab in Orlando, investigators were reportedly able to link the SUV to the accident scene. Investigators also examined cellphone records to link the suspect to the accident.

Thousands of motorcyclists across Florida are affected by crashes every year. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the state saw close to 7,500 motorcycle accidents in 2010. These crashes injured 6,686 motorcyclists and killed an additional 350.

Even if someone is not driving above the speed limit, they need to slow down if conditions require it. And even more importantly, if a driver hits someone else, they need to stop and report the accident to police.

Source: Daytona Beach News-Journal, "Lake Mary chiropracter charged in S.R. 414 hit-run death," Patricio G. Balona, June 1, 2012

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