An auto accident in Umatilla took the life of a 23 year old man when he was thrown from the back of a pickup truck after it struck a tree. The accident occurred at approximately 2:45 a.m. on March 31
Florida Highway Patrol reports that the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado was heading east on SE 292nd Avenue Rd. when the driver lost control as he attempted to round a curve to the left. The truck ran off the roadway and struck a tree just beyond the grassy shoulder near SE 152nd Pl. The Apopka man who was riding in the bed was thrown from the pickup after it bounced off the tree.
Lake County Fire Rescue officials pronounced the man dead at the scene. The driver was treated for minor injuries.
In light of this tragedy, as an accident attorney, I would like to remind readers that a person riding in the bed of pickup truck is traveling at the same speed as the vehicle. Consequently, they are in serious danger if the truck comes to a quick stop. Something has to give in this situation and it is always the passengers who either fly out of the truck bed or hit the truck itself.
The National Safety Council estimates that approximately one-third of passengers riding in the bed or cargo area of a pickup truck die when the truck is involved in an accident or non-crash event, such as sudden stops, sharp turns, or swerving. In fact, many of these deaths occur merely from the truck hitting a median, curb, or even a pothole.
Even though it is legal in Florida for an adult over age 18 to ride unrestrained in the cargo bed of a pickup, it is extremely dangerous and can easily result in serious injury or death. Pickup trucks are designed to haul objects, not people. I encourage pickup truck owners to set boundaries and not allow people to ride in the bed - cargo beds are for cargo, not passengers.
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