Fatal Miami biker accident but no manslaughter charges

A Florida driver with a suspended license, who hit and killed a motorcyclist, will apparently not be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Friends of the slain cyclist are not pleased with the decision of the Miami-Dade Attorney’s Office with their handling of this car accident.

A Miami-Dade spokesperson states that the victim’s death alone was not sufficient to generate a criminal charge against the vehicle driver. The driver will apparently be charged with failure to yield right of way and driving with a suspended license only. This Miami car accident apparently does not meet the Florida standard of “wanton or willful disregard for the safety of others.”

In Florida, it is a crime to drive with a suspended license. However, if a driver is guilty of one or two offenses, their crimes are still considered misdemeanors. This driver’s suspension was his first offense. Records show that the suspension occurred because he didn’t show up for a court appearance, not for a serious moving violation.

An on-the-scene traffic cam also appears to show that the driver had a green light and made a legal left turn. During the turn, the driver apparently clipped the rear of the victim’s motorcycle. The moving violation of failure to yield, comes with three points on a license and a $60 fine, but no manslaughter charges.

Opponents maintain that, had the court done its job, the driver would not have been on the road. They speculate that this driver, with blatant disregard for the law, is capable of repeating this deadly offense. Friends and family of the victim are committed to continuing their efforts to spur more serious legal penalties for this “negligent behavior.” They may also decide to pursue financial damages from the man via a personal injury lawsuit.

Do you feel the potential punishment fits this “crime?” Should there be stiffer penalties for drivers, illegally driving with a suspended license, who are involved in a car accident with death resulting?

Source: Miami New Times, “Driver Who Killed Biker In Car Crash Won’t Face Vehicular Manslaughter Charges,” Jon Tayler, Aug. 22, 2012