Denise Chapple was reported in The Ledger to be the pedestrian hit at the intersection of US98N and Griffin Road in Lakeland, Florida on June 5, 2018 at approximately 3:00 a.m. She was pushing a bicycle in the crosswalk at the time of the collision and was struck by a Nissan Altima by Antonio Black.
Cause Of Collision From Evidence
Information regarding the color of the traffic signal at this intersection has not yet been released. As a traffic homicide investigation, the police will go to the City of Lakeland’s contractor for the red light cameras and should obtain a copy of any video imagery of this collision. The actual contractor is American Traffic Solutions, Inc. (ATS).
As these videos are used to issue non-moving citations to drivers who run red lights, there should be a view of the crosswalk along with an indication of the traffic signal at the time of impact. This evidence may be very valuable in the event of a legal claim for wrongful death. Parties to the claim should be advised to attempt to obtain a copy and to ask in writing that the City of Lakeland and its contractor, ATS, preserve the video. Doing so may be very important in the event that the video in evidence from the homicide investigation turns up missing later on down the road.
Keep An Open Mind And Avoid Conclusions
The Ledger mentions that Ms. Chapple was wearing “dark” clothing. The assumption is that the driver would have had difficulty seeing a person at night who is wearing dark clothing.
What The Ledger does not mention is that this is a well lighted intersection along a stretch of road with streetlights. There was also no mention of whether the bicycle had reflectors or not. In addition, it is generally advised for drivers to avoid “outrunning” their headlights at night. These are all issues that should be examined in addition to the color of the traffic light.
Finally, while there does not appear to be evidence of intoxication, a proper homicide investigation should affirmatively rule in or rule out a DUI or other criminal traffic violation. The same applies to texting and driving or other distractions.
Application Of Car Insurance
Florida law has a $5,000 no-fault death benefit that is payable to the next of kin of the deceased. If you are covered by a car insurance policy (including living with a family member who has car insurance), then the benefit is paid from your policy. If you are not covered by your own insurance and you do not live with a family member with car insurance (remember that most car insurance policies in Florida will cover all relatives under the same roof), then the other person’s no-fault coverage may pay the benefit.
Section 627.736, Fla. Stat. states this below:
627.736 Required personal injury protection benefits; exclusions; priority; claims.—
(1) REQUIRED BENEFITS.—An insurance policy complying with the security requirements of s. 627.733 must provide personal injury protection to the named insured, relatives residing in the same household, persons operating the insured motor vehicle, passengers in the motor vehicle, and other persons struck by the motor vehicle and suffering bodily injury while not an occupant of a self-propelled vehicle, subject to subsection (2) and paragraph (4)(e), to a limit of $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and $5,000 in death benefits resulting from bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle…