Lawmakers and the family of a 13-year-old girl who was killed by a hit-and-run in 2022 are trying to find some justice and peace by passing a new Florida law. What led up to the creation of the law, and how does it plan to find and punish more hit-and-run criminals?
A Tragic Accident
On August 16, 2022, 13-year-old Lilly Glaubach was riding her bike home from Pineview School in Osprey, Florida. Around 4:15 p.m., Glaubach passed through a crosswalk when she was struck by an oncoming vehicle.
David Chang, 65 years old at the time, was reportedly speeding as he went through the crosswalk, and his four-door sedan hit Glaubach. According to court documents, Glaubach was “forced up onto the hood and windshield of the vehicle before she came off the vehicle approximately 75 feet west of the area of the collision.”
Glaubach was badly injured, but Chang did not stop. Instead, he drove away.
An Attempt to Escape the Consequences
Chang drove away from the scene of the accident without stopping.
The next day, he took his vehicle to an auto repair shop one hour from where the accident took place, which is also one hour from where he lived. Chang told the auto-repair shop a tree branch fell through the windshield of his car, per reporting by The Bradenton Times.
Chang’s lie didn’t last long.
An individual reported the car as a suspicious vehicle and sent photos to law enforcement. It was discovered that the details and license plate information matched the information from the accident. Plus, the vehicle had serious windshield and front-end damage.
The Driver Faces Consequences
Chang was arrested on charges for leaving the scene of the crash involving a serious injury, leaving the scene with property damage, and evidence destruction.
The charges would be elevated more than a week later when Glaubach tragically died from her injuries 12 days after the accident. Chang would then be arrested for felony charges of leaving the scene without rendering aid involving death.
In this hit-and-run case, the driver was found, and justice was served.
In September 2023, Chang entered an open plea for one count of leaving the scene of a crash involving death and one count of tampering with evidence, per Tampa Bay 10. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison to be followed by three years probation.
Now, lawmakers and Glaubach’s family want to make sure more hit-and-run criminals are caught and face consequences for their actions.
New Florida Bill Aims to Catch Hit-and-Run Criminals
Over the past five years in Florida, there have been 515,957 hit-and-run crashes that resulted in 1,251 fatalities, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Bill SB 194 — referred to as the “Lilly Glaubach Act” — filed by Sen. Joe Gruters aims to find and punish more hit-and-run criminals.
The bill would require auto repair shops to verify the cause of vehicle damage or report it to law force agencies. If the bill passes, when a vehicle that appears to have been in an accident is brought to an auto repair shop, the shop will need to request a written crash report or fill out a form detailing the damage before giving an estimate to the driver.
All forms would be sent to law enforcement agencies so they can review the situation and connect damages to pending hit-and-run cases. The goal of the bill is to find more hit-and-run criminals who cause accidents and leave the scene.
The bill has been filed for the 2024 legislative session.
Get Justice After a Car Accident
Bill SB 194 aims to seek justice for individuals injured by the carelessness of drivers. Its goal is to make it easier to bring criminal charges against drivers who flee the scene after being involved in a vehicular crash that causes damage.
Victims of car accidents that are the result of the carelessness of another person or entity may be entitled to justice in both criminal and civil courts.
If you or a loved one were injured in a vehicular accident caused by the recklessness of a driver, you deserve justice. Talk to a personal injury or wrongful death attorney right away. See how you can find some peace by holding at-fault parties accountable for their actions. Talk to personal injury attorney TJ Grimaldi today. Request an appointment or call 813-226-1023.