On Tuesday, November 27, 2012, a deadly car crash in St. Petersburg occurred that could be blamed on texting while driving. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the fatal auto accident took place just west of the Gandy Bridge in St. Petersburg around 8:00 p.m.
A man driving a white Honda sedan west on Gandy Boulevard was seen traveling at a high rate of speed. It appears that he veered left onto the grass median strip and then over-corrected by turning right. The car then crashed into a power pole, continuing on to collide with palm trees in front of a radio communications building.
Sadly, the man was ejected from his car and died at the accident scene. He was identified as 29-year-old Manuel Belisario Bonet Jr. of Tampa.
Upon investigation of the accident, troopers found a cell phone in the car that indicated that Bonet may have been in the middle of sending a text message at the time of the car accident. However, the crash remains under investigation.
Texting and driving continues to be a subject receiving attention in Florida, as Florida lawmakers have failed to pass laws banning texting while driving in the state. Senator Nancy Detert, R-Venice, introduced SB 52, which would allow officers to fine drivers for texting after stopping drivers for another traffic violation. However, this measure was blocked, as well as other attempts to ban texting and driving in Florida.
The accident attorneys at Mallard Perez would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Manuel Belisario Bonet Jr., following this tragic St. Petersburg auto accident, and would like to remind drivers to avoid texting while driving.