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RD- an actual child support client
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01/10/2014
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Charges Expected to be Filed against Driver in Fatal Christmas Eve Collision in Gilchrist County

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In a tragic Christmas Eve collision, 67 year old Connie Hootman suffered fatal injuries when a vehicle, being operated by 30 year-old Justin Gore, collided with the left side of Hootman’s vehicle as she traveled eastbound on SR 26. Florida Highway Patrol reports that a blood-alcohol test was performed on Gore at the accident scene, and charges are pending.

The accident serves as an unnerving reminder of the dangers faced by motorists who travel upon Florida’s roadways each day. According to the 2012 Traffic Crash Facts Report provided by Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, more than 52,000 alcohol suspected-related accidents occurred in Florida between 2010 and 2012. In addition, for the alcohol suspected-related accidents occurring during this time period, data shows that 23,795 injuries and 2,418 fatalities resulted.

While we can neither control nor predict the actions of motorists who operate their vehicles in a negligent or unlawful manner, there are important safety measures that can be taken that may potentially reduce the risk of injury of fatality in the event of an unexpected collision, such as the use of a seatbelt. Gore, who was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the side impact collision, remained uninjured, according to Florida highway patrol, while Hootman, who was not secured by a seatbelt, suffered fatal injuries. While it is uncertain whether the use of a seatbelt may have prevented Hootman’s tragic death, crash data statistics do show the safety benefits of seatbelt use in reducing accident injury and fatality in the vast majority of traffic collisions.

As personal injury and wrongful death attorneys, we have witnessed, far too often, the pain and heartbreak suffered as a result of the loss of a loved one. Our heart-felt condolences go out to the family and friends of Connie Hootman, whose life was needlessly cut short at the hands of a negligent driver. While nothing can ever replace the loss of a loved one, the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. does hope that the victim’s family takes the measures necessary to protect their legal rights to recover damages for this wrongful death.

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