My News 13 reports that a driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash appeared in court on Saturday.
33-year-old Michael Plattner is charged with leaving the scene of a deadly accident that occurred at about 3 a.m. Friday. The crash occurred on Orange Blossom Trail near Taft Vineland Road.
A Kissimmee resident, Plattner was speeding while driving a 2007 Mercedes SUV southbound on Orange Blossom Trail. He rear-ended a 2013 Toyota Camry.
The SUV that Plattner was driving overturned. The Camry was pushed off the road and struck a sign and a utility pole. 28-year-old driver Alexander Francois was rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Also in the Camry was 36-year-old Hansel Mendez Catano. He was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Another female passenger was injured and also taken to ORMC.
An Orange County Sheriff’s K-9 unit found Plattner after he fled from the scene on foot. He is charged with leaving the scene of a deadly accident and leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries.
Authorities obtained a warrant to take a blood sample to see if Plattner was intoxicated at the time of the crash. He was able to post $25,000 bond and was released late Saturday.
Florida, like many states, has some very clear laws in place for what a person is supposed to do in a car accident. Both drivers must stop as close to the scene as possible and exchange information if there is property damage. If the accident involves injury or death, drivers must stop and render aid or contact emergency services. In the case of an accident involving death, running from the scene is a first-degree penalty, with a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. They are also subject to a mandatory license revocation. If the hit-and-run involves DUI, there is a mandatory two-year sentence.