Polk County biker awarded $2.5 million by Florida jury

A motorcycle rider struck by a drunk driver was awarded $2.5 million.

JusticeNewsFlash.com–A Polk County Circuit Court jury awarded a critically injured motorcyclist close to $2.5 million. Melvin Crawford, a 45 year-old truck driver was riding his motorcycle, December 2006, when he was struck by a drunk driver in Lakeland, Florida. The driver, William Rynd, had just left a bar where he had admittedly been drinking Corona, a popular beer. The accident happened at the intersection of Brannen Road and South Florida Avenue in Lakeland located one-half mile from the bar.

Crawford was critically injured in the motorcycle crash. He was intubated at the scene and transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he spent 60 days in a coma and underwent multiple surgeries for multiple fractures. He suffered respiratory failure, acute kidney failure, collapsed lungs, multiple infections and was unable to work for over 11 months.

Rynd pled guilty to felony DUI charges. He stated he consumed five Coronas and was taking doctor-prescribed pain medication, Percocet, a high powered oral narcotic. His dentist testified he had undergone the extraction of 14 teeth in November of 2006.

Narcotic pain medication impairs basic judgment and limits drivers perceptions and reaction times. When medications and alcohol are mixed with driving the consequences can be catastrophic and sometimes fatal. Driving while impaired is a crime in the state of Florida. If you choose to drive while impaired you can also be sued for negligence in civil court by the drivers and passengers you personally injured.

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About the Author Justice Seeker

Heather L. Ryan, R.N., C.L.N.C- Heather Ryan is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant with 15 years of experience in the health care industry. Her expertise in reviewing medical records and assisting lawyers with the determination as to whether legal action should be taken provides an invaluable asset to the newsroom. Medical-malpractice, products liability, personal injury and workers’ compensation are some of the recent areas of litigation Ms. Ryan has focused her efforts on. A member of the Florida Justice Association, Heather maintains a long list of certifications and credentials to support her areas of expertise and stays up-to-date with her clinical knowledge working as an emergency room/trauma nurse, at a Level 1, Adult/Pediatric trauma and teaching institution in South Florida.