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Driver flees fatal accident near Tampa

Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and, with it, lives can be irrevocably changed or lost. For example, a 17-year-old male student at Steinbrenner High School died in a car accident near Tampa, Florida. His 16-year-old girlfriend, who was also involved in the accident, is in serious condition.

The couple had gone to Lutz, Florida, to watch a Keith Urban concert and were parked on a local road. The fatal car accident occurred around midnight when a second car, driven by a 23-year-old man and going north on Sunlake Drive, rear-ended the victims' parked car, causing both vehicles to roll over. The driver of the second car was able to get out of his vehicle and left the scene of the accident.

Responders transported the occupants of the parked car to St. Joseph's Hospital. The male teenager died from his injuries, and his girlfriend remains in serious condition. The driver of the second car surrendered to authorities about two hours later. No charges have been filed yet. Family and friends of the victim held a vigil in his memory.

In a matter of seconds, a number of lives changed. A young man is dead. A young woman is fighting for her life. And a community is in mourning.

And, even once the current situation as resolved itself (for better or worse), the families of the victims will have to deal with the long-term aftermath, especially the financial burdens that come with medical treatment and a funeral.

Although it is not yet established who is at fault, if the other driver is found to be negligent, the victims and their families deserve fair compensation. They would be wise to see a legal professional to determine whether a lawsuit is justified and, if so, be sure that the compensation they seek is adequate.

Source: The Tampa Tribune, "Steinbrenner students mourn classmate's death," Anastasia Dawson, Oct. 6, 2013

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