Two weeks ago, 13-year-old Caely Camacho was killed by a drunk driver, Sandor Guillen, in Southwest Miami Dade, Florida. Guillen was driving a 2010 Range Rover on a buses only road at 100 miles per hour, when he slammed into the Chrysler Town and Country Minivan that Caely’s father was driving. Caely and her older sister and father were on the way to school that morning.
Caely Camacho was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital where she later died. Her father and sister suffered minor injuries. According to Local CBS.com, even Guillen suffered serious injuries including a punctured lung and several broken ribs. The Miami Dade Police Department charged Guillen with vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury, and driving without a driver’s license. He was captured after he attempted to flee the accident on foot. A Miami judge set his bond at $1,000,000.
Sunday morning, it was reported that Guillen was trying to get the bond lowered. Caely Camacho’s older sister, who survived the crash, posted a video on her Facebook page pleading the community at large to appear at the courthouse and to sign an online petition, in an effort to keep the bond set at 1,000,000 and Guillen in jail. The Camacho family is concerned that Guillen is a flight risk, given that he fled the scene of the accident after it happened. He would possibly flee the US and go to Nicaragua, his native country.
Unfortunately, the Camacho family’s efforts were unsuccessful. Tuesday morning, Sandor Guillen’s, bond was reduced to $205,000. He was fitted with an electronic monitoring device and let out of the Dade County Jail on Wednesday. He is currently being held under house arrest and cannot drink any alcohol.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), in 2008 one third of all traffic accident injuries or deaths involved drunk drivers. Miami is considered one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the entire world. With so many restaurants and nightclubs, it is a city where drinking and driving is extremely common.
Questions still remain about where Guillen was drinking, and if there are any other parties responsible for this tragedy. Under Florida’s Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine, the owner of a vehicle is responsible for all harm or damages caused in an accident regardless of whether the owner is operating the vehicle at the time.
Drunk drivers are not only subject to criminal prosecution but also civil liability. Florida Statutes 768.72 allows a party to seek punitive damages when conduct is so reckless that it endangers the life and safety of others. This theory is often applied to drunk driving accident cases.
Victims of drunk driving accidents that have experienced catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one often face financial difficulties and require assistance to carry out daily tasks.
Gerson and Schwartz, PA have assisted numerous accident victims and their families including wrongful death claims, as a result of drunk driving accidents.