A man with a long list of arrests faces more serious charges after hitting and killing a motorcyclist over the weekend. According to the St. Petersburg Times, 37-year-old Bret Anthony Cox of Port Richey has been charged with DUI manslaughter, two counts of causing DUI damage to property or person, and driving without a license. Records show that Cox had been arrested seven other times, four for driving under the influence and three related to driving with a suspended or revoked license. The arrests include three times already this year on warrants for failing to appear in court on charges of driving with a suspended or revoked license.
When the police found Cox and another passenger in the nearby parking lot, he had slurred speech and reportedly had to stand against the wall to keep from falling over.
The victim was 56-year-old Larry G. Elmore of Spring Hill, who was riding his motorcycle northbound on U.S. 19 when a southbound vehicle driven by Cox tried to turn left onto Gulf Highlands Drive. The 1999 Ford Expedition struck the left side of Elmore’s 2008 Harley Davidson, ejecting the rider. Cox drove his damaged SUV to a nearby McDonalds parking lot, where he and another occupant waited for police. Elmore was taken to Bayonet Point Hospital, where he died. Cox remains in Land O’Lakes jail in Pasco County in lieu of $16,000 bail.
When the police found Cox and another passenger in the nearby parking lot, he had slurred speech and reportedly had to stand against the wall to keep from falling over. When asked about whether he had consumed any alcohol or drugs before the crash, Cox told officers that he had taken a prescribed oxycodone pill earlier that morning.
Drunk driving is a serious problem in Florida and the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 904 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Florida in 2009, accounting for 35% of the total traffic fatalities for the year. When combined with the inherently dangerous nature of motorcycles, there is a lot of room for serious accidents to occur on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a DUI or motorcycle accident, you may be eligible to receive remuneration for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Contact a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney to see if you are entitled to monetary compensation for your accident.