JUSTICE FOR ANGELYS BRIELLE: Change FL law on Vehicular Homicide to equal running a redlight as reckless driving.
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My name is Angelique Cruz, I am making this petition because I'm not sure what else to do but I just want my story to be known. May 19, 2015 changed my life forever, you see I was involved in a horrible car accident in Hillsborough county. My sister and I were doing last minute errands for my baby shower that was that Saturday. I was 34 weeks pregnant (the passenger) and my sister was 28 weeks pregnant (the driver). We were t-boned by a red light runner, a company landscaping dump truck (Cuban Tree Services Inc) which had 2 passengers in the truck and the driver. At impact my placenta detached, and I was stuck in the car for about 30 mins till firefighters cut the roof of the car. My sister made it out immediately and was rushed to the hospital. Once they finally got me out, I was rushed to the hospital. I endured multiple injuries and was unconscious for about 3 days. I had bleeding in my brain, broken pelvis, fractured pubis and sacrum (which are all still broken and fractured), collapsed lung with a chest tube, abdominal bleeding to a main artery (which I almost died from) with a vascular coil, and multiple blood transfusion. Both my sister I had emergency c-sections, I was cut vertically. My nephew, thank god, survived and my sister endured minor physical injuries. My daughter was not that fortunate, she lived for three hours, 4.9 lbs and 18 inches long, but then finally lost her fight and went with God. She passed because I was stuck in the car for so long and with my placenta detached, she fought to breathe. My daughter and my nephew now share the same birthday.
I finally woke up 3 days later and the hospital let me see my daughter and hold her. I had to learn to walk again, and though my physically injury hurt me everyday what hurts more is not having my daughter.
Her cause of death, stated on her death certificate, was the car accident. The man was charged with nothing more then failure to stop at steady red light and failure to secure load with cover/tarp (he drove a dump truck that was completely full)
I called Hillsborough county sheriff department and spoke with Detective Mike Cherup and as he told me there is nothing that can be done and I can not press charges on the man because my daughter was technically not a passenger in the car and she technically was not alive. Although this was very hurtful to hear and he was very rude I did research and found the 2015 Florida Statute 782.071 Vehicular homicide-
782.071 Vehicular homicide.—“Vehicular homicide” is the killing of a human being, or the killing of an unborn child by any injury to the mother, caused by the operation of a motor vehicle by another in a reckless manner likely to cause the death of, or great bodily harm to, another."
I then stated this to Detective Mike Cherup and he told me there is still nothing that can be done because running a red light is not considered to be driving in a reckless manner to cause a death.
I did not believe this was true, and basically even if I had died that day my family would not be able to press charges on this man. This man just had to pay for a red light ticket (which I later found out those charges were dropped because the officer did not appear in court) while I had to learn to walk again and have to live with out my daughter. I did not want to give up so I emailed Thomas Michaels-Division of Law Revision and Information, and told him my story. He kindly explained a similar situation that happened to him and told me unfortunately "Florida law doesn’t equate running a red light with reckless driving. It’s an issue our lawmakers probably need to address."
The reason I am writing this petition is to make awareness to this situation, make a change to this law, and get justice for my daughter. I not only lost my daughter, I lost memories, and dreams I had for her and my future. Please help and share my story. #justiceforAngelysBrielle
-A Grieving Mother
(video documentary coming soon)
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