A motorist driving in the wrong direction on Interstate 275 was involved in a head-on collision that left one dead and three others, including himself, in serious condition. According to reports, Christopher Ponce, 22, was driving southbound on I-275 North just below the Interstate 4 interchange when he struck William Brooks Angel’s vehicle, which was traveling northbound in the center lane. Angel was pronounced dead on the scene, while his two passengers and Ponce were taken to the hospital in serious condition. According to police, no one involved in the accident had been wearing a seatbelt. Startlingly, state records indicate that Ponce had accumulated 10 driving violations prior, including DUI, careless driving, and driving with a suspended license.
In 2006, Ponce reportedly received his first violation after being cited for speeding, careless driving, and improper passing. In the following three years he would be issued three speeding tickets, another careless driving citation and a seatbelt infraction. In 2009, Ponce was reportedly arrested in Tallahassee for DUI, and subsequently had his license suspended. For his reckless conduct, Ponce was also given six months’ probation and made to attend classes about driving intoxicated. According to state records, he was also arrested last year for driving with a suspended license. In addition to these driving violations, it has been reported that Ponce had eight other traffic violations since receiving his license at 16.
At this time, few details about the I-275 crash have been released. Highway patrol is currently investigating to determine how Ponce wound up traveling in the wrong direction on the interstate and whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident. According to reports, Northbound I-275 downtown was shut for nearly four hours while police investigated and cleared debris from the roadway.
Tragic accidents such as this underscore the importance of safe and attentive driving. However, even the safest drivers can be seriously injured if there is someone else on the road who disregards driving laws and is negligent in operating his or her vehicle. Fortunately, legal recourse may be available to those injured by the recklessness of another driver.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident due to the negligence or carelessness of another entity, you may be entitled to compensation for damages including lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering, among others. To find out if you qualify for a recovery, do not hesitate to contact the knowledgeable and experienced car accident lawyers at Morgan and Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case review