Leaving the scene of an automobile accident and driving on a suspended driver’s license are obviously against the law. Somehow star Florida State University cornerback P.J. Williams was not charged with either offense on October 5 when he fled the scene of an accident he caused while driving on a suspended license. The evidence also indicates that Mr. Williams may have been driving while intoxicated at the time of the car accident, typical of hit-and-run cases.
Of course, Florida State was #1 last year and is again #1 in the polls. And you’ll remember the Jameis Winston debacle. At least Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was prosecuted and convicted when he was DWI and killed his best friend in that horrible DWI wreck two years ago.
Police and University Cover-Up
Tallahassee police issued two traffic citations to Mr. Williams, but never began to question whether the football star had been drinking at a time when bars had just closed or why he fled the car crash. FSU police intervened, even though they had no jurisdiction in that area.
Tallahassee Police then deleted Williams’s case from its online data reporting and have delayed a court date so that any other legal action will take place after the national championship game.
This preferential treatment puts all drivers at risk and sends out terrible signals to others, especially young people.
Both Cars Totaled in Hit-and-Run Accident
Mr. Williams turned his Buick Century into the path of 18-year college student Ian Keith. Mr. Keith’s Honda S.U.V. spun out of control, the car crumpled and its airbags deployed. Both vehicles were totaled. Shaken, Mr. Keith waited for police to arrive. Only then did he realize the occupants of the Buick, including another cornerback, were gone. The law enforcement officers began a hit-and-run investigation.
But then Mr. Williams and his friends returned to the scene approximately 20 to 30 minutes later. Other football players, the director of player development for the FSU football program, and FSU campus police also showed up. In the end, the officers cited Mr. Williams with traffic infractions for improper turn and for “unknowingly” driving on a suspended license, but did not charge him with a crime. The incident did not even appear on the public online database as is the norm for police calls.
Hit-and-Run Football Player May Have Been Guilty of DUI
Mr. Williams’ auto accident occurred at 2.37am on a Sunday morning, right after the bars in Tallahassee had shut down and a numerous drunk drivers likely filed out onto the road. Not everybody driving at this hour had been drinking. The hard working Mr. Keith was on his way home from his job at the Olive Garden when Mr. Williams ran into him. However, police should surely be aware that drunk driving increases after last call on a Saturday night. When a driver flees the scene at this hour, police usually base their investigation on the presumption that the driver was drunk. But not here.
When Mr. Williams tried to explain himself, his friend told him to be quiet because he sounded drunk. Mr. Keith confirmed that he seemed drunk. Unfortunately, because police failed to adequately investigate the car crash, whether Mr. Williams was drinking when he hit Mr. Keith’s vehicle cannot be proven.
This case represents an unjust trend where celebrities, athletes and politicians are treated differently than others. When it comes to DUI or hit-and-run, all drivers should be held to the strict letter of the law. We have too much at stake for police to give anybody special treatment.
Were You Injured by a Hit-and-Run or Drunk Driver?
I just successfully resolved a similar case when a man left a wedding reception, crashed into my 20 year old client coming home from work, and then fled the scene — in a tuxedo — and the presumably drunk driver’s insurance company denied that its policyholder did anything wrong other than cause the crash.
The mother of my client graciously wrote this on a Google Review:
We retained Mr. Berenson for my son when he was hit by a drunk driver who fled the scene on foot. I tried to handle on my own with the insurance but that was a huge mistake. Mr. Berenson has fought to get my son the best settlement and kept us informed the entire time. Thank you so much!
I am also about to file suit on a similar case when a man hit my client and fled. Many hit-and-runs involve a drunk driver. That is why Texas laws impose the same sentence for a DUI manslaughter or accident with injuries as for a hit-and-run accident in which somebody is seriously injured or killed.
If you have been hurt in a auto or truck collision, my firm, Bill Berenson Injury Law,can help you recover. Call our office at 817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-801-8585 to schedule your free claim evaluation.