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Two Seriously Injured in Dixie County Crash

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The Automobile Collision Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. take note of an accident in Dixie County that sent three victims to the hospital, two with serious injuries. The incident occurred Friday, March 28, 2014, at approximately 5:45 in the evening along State Road 349.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, 19-year-old Sean Michael Cornine, of Old Town, was driving southbound on S.R. 349 in a 2001 GMC Yukon. Ahead of Cornine’s vehicle was a 1997 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer, being operated by 54-year-old Debra Hazen McDonald, of Plant City. Traveling in McDonald’s vehicle were two passengers, 74-year-old Sara Jo Hazen and 52-year-old Lawrence Allen Hazen, both of Old Town.

As the vehicles approached the intersection at Northeast 878th Avenue, McDonald slowed her SUV in preparation to make a left turn. FHP says the accident happened when Cornine, who failed to slow his vehicle, collided with the rear-end of McDonald’s vehicle, as she began to turn left.

As a result of the impact, both of McDonald’s passengers sustained injury. Sara Jo Hazen was transported to UF Health Shands Hospital with serious injuries. Lawrence Allen Hazen, suffered more severe injuries, and was taken to Shands in critical condition.  Remarkably, McDonald, the driver of the front vehicle struck by Cornine, reported only minor injuries, and was also taken to Shands. Authorities say that McDonald was wearing a seatbelt, however, neither of her passengers were seat-belted.

Cornine, the driver of the rear-vehicle suspected of causing the collision, was not injured. Although the investigation is ongoing, FHP says that charges are pending. The Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. send our well-wishes to the victims and their family members, as they recuperate from their injuries.

As Auto Accident Attorneys, this incident serves as a reminder of the degree of injury that can occur in a rear-end collision. The sheer force of being unexpectedly struck from behind, in which the victim’s body rapidly jerks forward followed by the neck and head, can cause significant injury to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and tissues that surround upper areas of the spinal column. While whiplash type injuries are highly common in rear-end collisions, there are also a variety of other injuries that can occur, such as head trauma, facial injuries, broken bones, as well as injuries to the middle and lower regions of the back or spine.

Although the speed of a rear-vehicle will often correspond with the extent of injuries suffered by the occupants in a front-vehicle, it is not uncommon for a low-speed or low-impact rear-end collision to cause substantial injury as well. Further, when such collisions involve the additional factor of lack of seatbelt use, the potential for catastrophic injury is greatly increased. Disfigurement, paralysis, and in tragic cases, even fatality, can occur as a result of being rear-ended by a negligent motorist.

If you sustained injury in a motor vehicle accident, whether as a driver or passenger, you should protect your legal rights by discussing the matter with a personal injury lawyer experienced in handling auto accident cases. The professional, dedicated, and aggressive Auto Collision Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. believe that the primary focus for victims should remain on recovering from physical injuries—Let us, handle the rest.

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