Florida statute allows for a driver to be charged with vehicular homicide if they were driving in a manner that was reckless and caused an accident that led to the death of another person. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, the penalties can differ.
However, in most cases, vehicular homicide is a second-degree felony with a penalty of up to fifteen years in state prison. If the accident involves a hit-and-run, the driver can be charged with a first-degree felony. This can carry a sentence of up to thirty years in prison. A conviction of vehicular homicide will also carry a penalty of driver’s license revocation for at least three years.
The Miami Herald reports that the driver of a truck that killed a young boy last July has been charged with vehicular homicide.
24-year-old Melissa Vasquez was booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail last Wednesday. She has been charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving with serious bodily injury in relation to the July 11, 2019 crash.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Vasquez was driving a Ford F-150 west on Bird Road. Efren Matis was driving a Toyota Camry east on Bird Road. Matis made a left turn onto Southeast 92nd Avenue when Vasquez slammed into the vehicle.
11-year-old Christian Thomas and 3-year-old Daisa Thomas were passengers in the Camry. Christian was pronounced dead on the scene. Daisa sustained serious injuries and was transported to a hospital.
Both children were wearing seat belts. If they had been seated in the back seat as recommended, they would have been where the truck collided with the sedan.
Vasquez has no convictions on her driving record in Miami-Dade and Broward.