In Florida, vehicular homicide, sometimes charged as vehicular manslaughter, is a charge that happens when a person is acting in a manner that they know would put the safety of others at risk and that behavior leads to an accident that claims a life. Most of the time, vehicular homicide charges include allegations that the driver was intoxicated. However, it can be charged when there are allegations of reckless driving. The charge is a second-degree felony and carries a penalty of up to fifteen years in a Florida State Prison. A hit-and-run can elevate the charge to a first-degree felony if there is proof that the driver left the scene of the accident.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that a woman has been arrested on charges of vehicular homicide after leaving the scene of two accidents and causing a third, fatal accident.
Katlynn M. Smith is facing charges of vehicular homicide after she left the scene of two minor accidents on Saturday.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Smith was driving a 2011 Toyota Camry and attempted to overtake a Honda Accord that was moving in the same lane. While attempting to pass the Accord, Smith collided with the front right side of the vehicle. She did not stop.
The driver of the Honda, identified as 45-year-old Adam Frame, called police as he followed Smith. He described her driving to police as “reckless” as he pursued her down Bryan Dairy Road.
Frame said that Smith hit another vehicle and continued driving. At another intersection, Smith ran the red light and her vehicle struck a 2011 Lexus being driven by Kanh Kim Nguyen. Nguyen died from his injuries.
Smith also suffered from major injuries. She has been taken into custody, but is awaiting release from the hospital before being transferred to jail.