March 23, 2017

Navy Veteran Dies in Suspected DUI Crash

Chief Petty Officer Robert Roy died from injuries he sustained after a car he was in was hit by an allegedly drunk driver, a media release from the Florida Highway Patrol shows.

On April 28, at 3 a.m., a 2007 Honda Odyssey driven by Brianna Lynn Strum, age 25, an allegedly intoxicated driver, on Interstate 10 near Scenic Highway in Escambia County, struck a 2013 Dodge Charger from behind, according to the release. After the collision,  the Charger entered into the grass median, where it flipped several times, and as it overturned, Roy, age 33 of Pace, Florida was ejected and killed. Two other people in the car suffered minor injuries, and another had serious injuries.

Strum had minor injuries and fled the scene, but she was later discovered by Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Deputies. She was processed through the Santa Rosa County Jail and transported to Escambia County Jail on charges of DUI manslaughter, DUI serious injury, DUI property damage, leaving the scene of a crash with death, and leaving the scene of crash with serious injuries. Bond was set at $605,000.

Roy and his family lived in Imperial Beach, CA before moving to Florida.

An obituary in the Imperial Beach Patch shows that Roy had served his country honorably in the Navy. Last year, after finishing a seven-month deployment with the USS Carl Vinson, he surprised his two young sons at an Imperial Beach Little League game. His wife, Jessica, told the Imperial Beach Patch: “Your house is never full unless everybody’s home and the boys always know that there’s somebody missing when he’s not home, and it’s just basically an emotional fulfillment when everybody’s here.”

He was no longer assigned to the USS Carl Vinson at the time of this death, a sailor with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier’s quarterdeck said, according to the obituary. He was a Chief Petty Officer at Naval Air Station Whiting Field who managed vehicles that transport equipment to aircraft, said Public Affairs Officer Jay Cope. Whiting Field is the busiest Naval Air Station in the world, according to the Navy.

Naval Air Station Whiting Field honored his 15-year career, which included a long line of demanding jobs in which he excelled, with a memorial service in the base chapel on May 2, according to a release.

Unfortunately, this tragedy involving driving under the influence is not an isolated incident.

While careless driving accounts for almost 20 percent of fatal crashes, being under the influence of alcohol contributes to fatal crashes almost 19 percent of the time, Florida Traffic Safety Facts show.

County data on 5 year alcohol related/suspected crashes show 519 crashes in Escambia County in 2011.  This data published in the 2011 Florida Traffic Crash Statistic Report also shows a much higher number of these crashes in Hillsborough County with 1,424 crashes reported that year.

Our accident attorneys know that far too many of these accidents occur in the Tampa Bay Area. If you have been injured as a result of a drunk driver’s negligence, please contact Vanguard Attorneys.

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