A great deal of time and effort is spent on educating the public about the dangers of distracted driving and driving while under the Influence. However, this weekend we saw two tragic accidents caused by drivers that either fell asleep at the wheel or were “zoned out”.
Saturday Morning three joggers set out for a morning run on the 79th street causeway, in Miami, Fl. Surely, the last thing they expected was that they would be struck by a motorist, let alone one that had fallen asleep behind the wheel. Unfortunately that is exactly what happened when Berlin Gabriel, 22, dozed off at the wheel and struck a group of joggers on the Causeway around 8:30 am Saturday morning. While Florida leads the country in Pedestrian related injuries, this was not one of those typical intersection or crosswalk accidents. Rather, the joggers were struck from behind.
Gabriel, who was driving with a suspended license, had worked all night at Walmart and gotten off work at 7;00 am, when he hit a light post, and then struck the joggers. The impact sent one of the joggers over the causeway rail and into the brush by the bay. The injured joggers were airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital Trauma where they remain in stable condition.
Given that Gabriel was driving with a suspended license, it is doubtful that he carried liability insurance that would compensate these victims for their injuries. Hopefully, the victims had Uninsured Motorist coverage that would provide them with the much needed financial assistance to pay their medical bills and compensate them for their pain and suffering.
The second accident involves the much talked about Train accident in New York City that derailed over the weekend, killing four people and injuring more than 70. As reported by the New York Times, the engineer who operated the train told the authorities that he had become dazed before the accident, suffering what his lawyer referred to as “highway hypnosis.” This is something we often see in cases involving bus drivers who drive the same circular route over and over again.