April 15, 2016 – Audrey Oberg died after being ejected from a vehicle in which she was riding as a passenger after the vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Christopher Bennett on Bruce B. Downs Blvd near Legacy Blvd in Wesley Chapel.
The driver of a vehicle that rear-ends another vehicle is typically the at-fault party, with some exceptions. A sudden and unexpected stop is the most common defense asserted by insurance companies and their attorneys.
With some exceptions, Florida Statute 316.614 requires all front seat occupants of a motor vehicle (and all rear seat passengers under age 18) to wear a safety belt while the vehicle is in motion. When an occupant of a vehicle is ejected during a crash, the most likely explanation is that the person was not wearing his or her safety belt. However, we have seen crashes where an occupant was ejected after a severe rear end collision where the seat back fails and the occupant slips out from under the safety belt.