Baker County Accident Takes Life of a Hero and a Father

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A Baker County automobile accident recently took the life of a local Sanderson hero, 20-year-old Christopher Jefferson. He was an Army reservist scheduled to deploy for duty to Afghanistan, according to Channel 4 News. He, along with Ardis Page, father of two, was killed after a Jeep Cherokee failed to stop at a stop sign at US Highway 90 and crashed, head-on, into the car carrying Christopher Jefferson, Ardis Page and Page’s two children (the two children suffered injuries and were transported to Shands).
In a sad twist, Jefferson is the brother of Milton “Oshay” Johnson, who suffered paralyzing injuries in a Baker County high school football game two years ago.
The traffic investigation report indicates that the driver of the Jeep Cherokee had a strong odor of alcohol on him at the scene. The Florida Highway Patrol is waiting on the toxicology reports to conclude the investigation. Unfortunately, due to the number of drunk driving expected accidents, the results may take more than a month.
Florida drunk driving laws and charges are dependent on results of .08 or greater for people 21 years of age or older. For those less than 21, the results need only be .02 or greater. The driver of the Jeep was 36 year-old Christopher Wayne Wheeler, according the Channel 4 News report. Charges can increase based on the facts surrounding the DUI charge, so if there was property damage, accident with injuries, accident causing death, then the charges are determined accordingly. Each charge holds different consequences.
In addition, Florida recognizes Wrongful Death actions. If the death is the result of a homicide or intentional action, then there is no bar on how long the family or estate has to bring the civil action for damages. Wheeler, the driver of the Jeep, could be held liable not only criminally, but civilly as well.
Of course, any actions taken, whether civil or criminal, will be subject to Florida laws and evidentiary proof of the allegations. In the criminal cases, a Defendant is entitled to legal representation by a Florida criminal defense attorney or the services of the Florida public defender’s office. Since there was a death and serious personal injuries, there will be detailed investigation and report of this accident that will be reviewed by the respective parties to determine the appropriate course of action regarding this Florida automobile accident.

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