In early November, a tragedy occurred when a 10-year-old fell from a motorized scooter and was killed in Tampa, Florida. He was a passenger riding on the scooter, and the driver is facing charges for the accident.
What led to the terrible accident, and what consequences await the driver?
An Awful Accident
On November 10, 2022, around 6:40 p.m., 37-year-old Yordanis Leyva was driving a motorized scooter in Tampa, Florida. On the scooter with him was a 10-year-old boy, who has not been named. The boy and the man knew each other, but the details of their relationship have not been released.
As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Leyva made a wide turn to pull into a gas station at 3605 West Hillsborough Ave. He took the turn too wide and caused the two riders to fall to the ground in the path of oncoming traffic. A driver didn’t see them on the road and ran them over.
Both Leyva and the boy were taken to a nearby hospital. Leyva was seriously injured, and the boy died from his injuries.
Who Is at Fault for the Accident?
Investigators pointed blame at the driver of the scooter, not the driver of the car who hit the two riders. Leyva, the scooter driver, was intoxicated at the time of the accident and is accused of being at fault for the accident.
Leyva was arrested on charges of DUI manslaughter and driving with a suspended license involving a death.
According to ABC Action News, this isn’t the first time Leyva has been arrested for driving under the influence. In 2019, Leyva was arrested for a DUI. At that time, Leyva was pulled over after police saw him driving erratically, weaving side to side and stopping in the roadway.
What Charges Does the Driver Face?
In Florida, DUI laws are directed under Florida Statutes 316.193. Under the statutes:
- A DUI leading to serious bodily harm is classified as a third-degree felony. It can come with penalties of up to five years in prison, up to five years probation, and a $5,000 fine.
- A DUI resulting in death is a second-degree felony that comes with a mandatory prison sentence of four years. The maximum sentence is 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Because the boy died from his injuries, Leyva faces DUI manslaughter charges. He faces up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Since it is Leyva’s second DUI, he may face additional consequences.
In Florida, a second DUI offense can result in serious criminal penalties. If the DUI took place within five years of the prior DUI, it can result in a minimum 10-day jail sentence.
A second DUI offense can also lead to:
- Nine months to one year in jail depending on the driver’s BAC
- One year in jail if the DUI happened while a passenger under 18 was in the vehicle
- One year in jail if the DUI caused an accident that led to property damage or injury
- Five years in jail if the DUI caused an accident that led to “serious bodily injury”
Fines for a second DUI can range from $1,000 to $5,000. A second DUI can also lead to license revocation, vehicle impoundment, and the addition of an ignition-locking device on the driver’s vehicle.
Leyva faces serious charges because the second DUI charge led to an accident that caused the death of a minor.
Another Scooter Accident in Tampa Bay
This isn’t the first time we’ve covered a manslaughter case involving scooters in the Tampa Bay area. In November 2021, we covered a story about a man who was charged with manslaughter via culpable negligence after he hit and killed a bicyclist while riding an electric scooter in St. Petersburg.
In that case, the driver wasn’t under the influence, but investigators alleged that his negligence caused the accident.
Scooters — whether they are motorized or electric — can lead to charges and accidents as severe as those that involve average-size vehicles.
Facing DUI Charges Is a Serious Matter
What happened on November 10, 2022, is a terrible tragedy that led to the death of a young boy. No person should drive under the influence and put other lives at risk.
Driving under the influence is a serious danger and a serious charge. If you find yourself facing DUI charges, seek legal assistance right away. Everyone deserves fair due process of the law, even in the case of a DUI. If you have been charged with a DUI, talk to a DUI attorney right away. Contact TJ Grimaldi by requesting your free consultation or calling 813-226-1023 today.