TAMPA, Florida — Deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office responded to investigate a fatal pedestrian accident Sunday evening on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in the area of 131ST Avenue. The news report filed by WLFA did not state what time the accident occurred. Sheriff’s deputies are still trying to collect evidence showing how the accident occurred and why. There have been no arrests made up to this point in the investigation which remains active.
Very little information was provided to the media by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department. The law enforcement agency did state that a man died when a car hit him while he was walking on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in the area of the University of South Florida. There was no indication that the man who died was a student at the university. Sheriff’s Deputies did say that the pedestrian who died was not using a crosswalk at the moment of the crash and there were no street lights in the vicinity of the accident.
Determining fault in a Florida pedestrian accident is rarely clear cut. Although drivers in Florida have an obligation to use care when approaching pedestrians, drivers must stop at red lights before the crosswalk so that pedestrians may cross freely. Drivers shall avoid stopping in intersections where there is no crosswalk to permit safe crossing by pedestrians. These obligations are imposed by statute and are more specific than Florida’s laws of negligence.
Pedestrians also have a duty to exercise due care and caution while walking on the road. Florida laws dictate that pedestrians must obey all traffic signals, cross while in a crosswalk if a crosswalk is available, and to avoid stepping into traffic such that the driver has no time to avoid a collision. Therefore, determining which party is liable in a Florida pedestrian accident may be difficult at times, but that does not mean that injured pedestrians and their families should not vigorously pursue their legal rights.
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