Wrong Way Driver Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison

Too often, negligent drivers fail to appreciate the severity of their actions. This is a lesson which one young Miami resident learned the hard way. Franklin Chavez, a twenty-four-year-old massage therapist, was sentenced to seven years in prison and eight years on probation for causing an accident which killed a young medical student and crippled her brother.

A Fun Night Turned Nightmare

The accident caused by Franklin Chavez occurred in December 2015. He began his evening by joining his Crossfit friends at a bar. Later, he went to another bar, where he was believed to have been drinking through the night. At 5:22 a.m., Chavez was traveling the wrong way on the I-95. His Toyota Yaris did not have its lights on. He slammed into a vehicle driven by Elisa Diaz at over seventy miles per hour. Diaz’ children, Carmen and Bryan Criales, were passengers. Twenty-three-year-old Carmen, a medical student, was killed on impact. The force of the collision was so violent that her body could not be removed from the vehicle on the scene. Bryan and Elisa were taken to a hospital in critical condition. Elisa was forced to miss her daughter’s funeral, and Bryan was confined to a wheelchair. He no longer has the ability to speak.

Despite the facts indicating that Chavez was drunk at the time of the accident, prosecutors were forced to drop the DUI-manslaughter charges. A judge ruled that state troopers had no probable cause to draw Chavez’s blood on the scene and that it could not, therefore, be used as evidence against him. By the time Chavez was admitted to a trauma center, it was too late to get an accurate blood alcohol level from the time of the accident.

The botched blood draw may have been a stroke of luck for Chavez, but his punishment will still change his life forever. He – and other Miami drivers – are likely surprised to learn that a driver can be sentenced to seven years in prison without evidence of intoxication. Negligent driving can have fatal consequences, and when it does, the criminal punishments are severe.

When serious car accidents occur, all injured parties have legal rights which must be aggressively defended. The experienced car accident attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz have secured fair legal compensation for victims of all types of auto accidents. Whether you were injured in a motorcycle accident, truck accident, bicycle accident, or any other type of auto accident, we can help. Injury victims trust Gerson & Schwartz to offer legal protection after any injury accident.

The Right Car Accident Lawyer for your Miami Personal Injury Claim

With over forty-six years of legal experience, the Miami car accident attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. have the skill and knowledge required to protect your rights after a car accident.  Call our office today at 877-475-2905 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer in the greater Miami area. You can also email our office through our online contact form. Our staff provides the attention necessary to secure the compensation you deserve.

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