A 37-year-old man is accused of causing the deaths of three linemen who were repairing damaged lines in the Florida Panhandle in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. The linemen were employees of a utility company. According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, the accident that led to DUI manslaughter and other charges occurred on a Wednesday night north of Panama City near Chipley.
A crash report indicates that a man driving a pickup truck with an attached U-Haul trailer was traveling on State Road 77 when he failed to control the vehicle. Reportedly, he veered onto the shoulder of the road where he struck the three linemen. Two of the workers died at the scene, while the third man was rushed to a hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Two of the deceased linemen, ages 52 and 22, were from North Carolina, and the 60-year-old third victim was from Florida. FHP arrested the pickup truck driver after he allegedly left the crash scene. He now faces charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide — a felony — and failing to remain at the crash scene.
This driver will remain innocent until, and if, the prosecutors can prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but his first step would likely be to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Legal counsel can protect his legal rights throughout questioning and interviews with police and also scrutinize the law enforcement procedures during the arrest for DUI manslaughter and the other charges. When and how the defendant’s blood alcohol content was determined will also be examined before the Florida attorney devises a defense strategy to achieve the most favorable outcome for the client.