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Firm partner, Scott B. Smith's investigation results in lawsuit that blames state for 2015 deadly church van crash that killed 8 injured 10

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath has filed a wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit against the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and a roadway contractor, Better Roads, Inc. The case arises out of tragic motor vehicle accident that occurred on March 30, 2015 on State Road 78 in Glades County, Florida. Most unfortunately, 8 people lost their lives in the crash and another 10 were seriously, if not catastrophically, injured in the single vehicle accident. At the time of the crash SR 78 was a rural two lane road (one lane in each direction) with a posted speed limit of 60 m.p.h. SR 78 came to a sudden and abrupt end with its intersection with US 27. Such intersection for both highways was controlled by only a stop sign. Such stop sign was obstructed by other roadway signs in the immediate area. Moreover, no lighting existed on either roadway and the rumble strips that had been previously placed down were completely worn out or nonexistent. To make matters even worse, a steep banked water-filled canal was only 30 feet beyond the intersection. Since the subject crash the FDOT has placed a new larger stop sign in a different location where it is not obstructed, added newer and improved rumble strips, painted “STOP AHEAD” on the roadway in advance of the intersection and added a flashing yellow beacon (light) above a new Stop Ahead sign. Prior to this 2015 crash records indicate that this intersection had a “spot crash rate” in 2012 that was 12 times higher than other similar intersections and 13 times higher in 2013. Firm partner Scott B. Smith filed the lawsuit earlier this week on behalf of 4 decedents’ families and 6 of the seriously injured and offered “This was a terribly unsafe and hazardous intersection. The FDOT and Better Roads knew it was a dangerous intersection. Yet, nothing was done by either to remedy the situation during a 3R (restoration, resurfacing & rehabilitation) project completed in 2012. Sadly, 8 people died and 10 others were seriously hurt due to their negligence and their complete disregard for this rural road. We intend to fight for all of the victims to the bitter end.”

 

 

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