Turning left at traffic lights can be tricky. There is often an arrow light as well as a regular light. Drivers in Florida are obligated to adhere to traffic laws and safety regulations, which include yielding on a left turn when the light is green with no arrow if there is an oncoming car on the other side of the light. A recent fatal motor vehicle accident occurred when a van carrying members of a Florida rowing team turned left on a green light with no arrow.
There was a pickup truck in the oncoming lane, and the driver later told police the man behind the wheel of the van turning left was looking down at something in his vehicle and not at the road as he was making the turn. The pickup truck driver said there was nothing he could do to avoid a collision. The driver of the van was the coach of a Florida rowing team, and the van was rented to transport the rowers to practice.
A sophomore on the team was in the front passenger seat of the van at the time of the collision. It was later reported that the young man bore the brunt of the impact, which resulted in his fatal injuries. Police say the coach was remorseful after the crash, and also allegedly made comments that he hoped he had a green arrow light when he turned. Police say he did not.
A witness to the fatal motor vehicle accident corroborated the pickup truck driver’s assessment that the van driver was looking down, not at the road, when he initiated his left turn. The entire Florida community was grieving the loss of the rowing team athlete as investigators worked to piece together the events that led to the crash. Cases like this often lead to litigation, especially when there is evidence that another driver’s negligence was a causal factor in a collision that resulted in a fatality.