Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore was saddened to hear about the massive accident in Cooper City on February 13. According to law enforcement officials, Henry Sandoval, 27, was responsible for causing the accident. He failed to stop at a red light at about 11:00 p.m. at Highway 441 and Stirling Road near the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. As a result, his Chevrolet Silverado hit a Toyota, pushing it into a number of other vehicles. All together, seven cars were involved in the motor vehicle accident. Broward DUI Lawyer William Moore is sorry to report that there were two deaths as a result of the accident: Harriet Phillips, 67, and Francis Colavita, 69, were seated in the back of the Toyota that sustained the initial impact. Both received critical injuries. Phillips passed away on February 14 from her injuries, while Colavita survived until February 16.
Seminole police arrested Sandoval. Shortly after the accident, police measured his blood alcohol content, getting two separate readings at 0.22 and 0.19, both well over the 0.08 percent level at which a driver is presumed to be too intoxicated to operate the vehicle. He has been charged with six counts of DUI with property damage, three counts of DUI causing serious bodily injury, and two counts of DUI manslaughter for the deaths of Phillips and Colavita. Sandoval, who resides in Cooper City, is being held at a Broward County jail. The judge did not set a bond in his case.
Broward DUI Lawyer William Moore notes that information published in the media indicates that Sandoval was not seen behind the wheel of the vehicle. In order to be convicted of a DUI offense, including DUI manslaughter and DUI causing serious bodily injury, the prosecution must demonstrate that the criminal defendant was in “actual physical control” of the car. Showing actual physical control is usually fairly simple – a police officer saw the intoxicated driver actually driving the car or seated by the wheel, or perhaps another motorist can testify to that fact. In some cases, the government can show actual physical control even when the “driver” was only seated in the driver’s seat, but the car’s ignition was not turned on. The keys do not even need to be in the ignition, nor does the car need to be on a public road. In this case, the investigation seems to be centering on evidence within the car. Law enforcement officers have collected the deployed air bag from Sandoval’s Chevrolet. Police have also swabbed the vehicle. If they find Sandoval’s DNA on the airbag, for example, that evidence could show that Sandoval was operating the vehicle at the time of the tragic accident.
Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore provides comprehensive DUI defense in south Florida. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact William Moore Criminal Defense, P.A., a Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.
This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as implied representation of any person.