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Hit and Run Driver Kills Pedestrian in New Port Richey

A deadly hit-and-run crash last week shut down part of Little Road in New Port Richey overnight.

The crash happened just after 1 a.m. at Little Road and Heritage Lakes Boulevard. 

Florida Highway Patrol says a vehicle, believed to be a 2001 to 2004 Toyota Tacoma in silver, white or light grey color, hit a person trying to cross Little Road near the Heritage Lakes Boulevard intersection, then continued going north on Little Road. 

FHP had the northbound lanes of Little Road shut down for hours from St. Lawrence Drive to Heritage Lakes Boulevard while they investigated. 

The road reopened around 6:45 a.m. 

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call FHP at 813-558-1800.

In recent years, Florida has earned the title of being one of the worst states for pedestrian safety. Of the 20 deadliest U.S. cities for pedestrians, 9 are in Florida. Orlando ranks as the least safe for pedestrians and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolis takes the number 14 position, according to a report from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Pedestrians are injured and killed every day across the United States. So, why is Florida so unsafe for pedestrians? There is no single reason why and multiple factors contribute to why pedestrians are at such a higher risk to be struck by vehicles. 

In the U.S. data has shown that pedestrian deaths have increased by 35.7 percent from 2008 to 2017. During this ten year period, a total of 49,340 pedestrians were killed. If you break it down, the numbers equate to 13 pedestrian fatalities every single day for the whole country. 

As far as Florida pedestrian accidents go, there were 5,433 pedestrian deaths between 2008 and 2017, which averages out to 2.73 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people. The Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) calculated in the report is 182.0. The U.S. as a whole shows an average of 1.55 deaths per 100,000 people and a 55.3 PDI. The numbers show that Florida doubles the national statistics.  

Orlando had 656 pedestrian deaths over 10 years with a PDI of 313.3 and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach had 1,549 pedestrian deaths and a PDI of 153.5. To put this into better perspective, New York City-Newark is one of the most heavily walked metropolitan areas in the country, but only has a PDI of 27.1. Washington D.C. has a PDI of 39.7 and Chicago 34.5.

Pedestrians continue to be struck and killed every day in the United States. While not every pedestrian accident results in a fatality, many do. For those that survive a pedestrian accident, they may be left battling chronic pain and suffering for the rest of their lives. Their injuries could result in them losing their jobs and experience a reduced quality of life because their injuries keep them from the activities they love. 

Every person should be able to walk to a destination without the fear of being struck by a speeding, drunk, or distracted driver. Our Pasco County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help those who have been injured in pedestrian accidents, as well as the families of those who have been tragically killed. We can help you seek financial compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

The laws in Florida are designed to protect those who become injury victims due to the negligence of another. When a pedestrian is injured through the fault of a motorist, that pedestrian may be entitled to bring a claim for their damages in an effort to obtain financial relief.

In the event that the at-fault driver fled the scene and cannot be located, pedestrians are not necessarily simply out of luck. It is possible for a claim to still be made on the pedestrian’s behalf that could allow them to recover for actual losses like medical and surgical bills incurred as well as less tangible damages including pain and suffering, loss of a normal life, and permanency of damages.

If you or someone you care for has suffered injury or death due to a negligent driver, our Pasco County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton would like to help. We can sit down with you and discuss the details of your case in a completely free and confidential consultation. Our number one priority is to fight for a settlement amount that you deserve.

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