May 19, 2015 changed my life forever; I was involved in a horrible car accident in Hillsborough County. I was 34 weeks pregnant (the passenger) and my sister was 28 weeks pregnant (the driver). We were t-boned by a red light runner. I endured multiple injuries and was unconscious for more then 3 days. Both my sister and I had emergency c-sections, I was cut vertically. My nephew, thank God, survived and my sister endured minor physical injuries. My daughter was not that fortunate; born at 7:14pm she lived for three hours, 4.9 lbs and 18 inches long, but then finally lost her fight and went with God. My daughter and my nephew now share the same birthday. Her cause of death, stated on her death certificate, was the car accident. The man was charged with nothing more then failure to stop at a steady red light. I called Hillsborough County Sheriff Department and spoke with a detective and as he told me there is nothing that can be done and I can not press charges on the man because my daughter was technically not a passenger in the car and she technically was not alive. Although this was very hurtful to hear and he was very rude I did research on my own and found the 2015 Florida Statute 782.071 Vehicular homicide- Vehicular homicide.—“Vehicular homicide” is the killing of a human being, or the killing of an unborn child by any injury to the mother, caused by the operation of a motor vehicle by another in a reckless manner likely to cause the death of, or great bodily harm to, another."782.071. I then stated this to the detective and he told me there is still nothing that can be done because running a red light is not considered to be driving in a reckless manner to cause a death. I could not believe this was true. He then basically stated even if my life was lost that day my family would not be able to press charges on this man. This man just had to pay for a red light ticket (which I later found out those charges were dropped due to the officer’s failure to appear in court) while I had to learn to walk again and have to live with out my daughter. I did not want to give up so I emailed Thomas Michaels-Division of Law Revision and Information, and told him my story. He kindly explained a similar situation that happened to him and told me unfortunately "Florida law doesn’t equate running a red light with reckless driving. It’s an issue our lawmakers probably need to address." My goal is to make change and awareness in our community to FL laws on vehicular homicide to equal running a red-light as reckless driving and to bring justice and honor to my daughter, especially with her first birthday/anniversary coming up in May. By giving support you will be promoting awareness to this situation so that it doesn’t happen to another family and also helping a grieving mother.
I not only lost my daughter, I lost future memories, future dreams, and all the what-ifs. Please, I hope that you can support this cause and honor my angel.