A 24-year-old woman is now being charged with DUI manslaughter after allegedly causing a motor vehicle accident on Interstate 75. According to Florida Highway Patrol, a 2-year-old passenger was killed and the driver and 10 other passengers, including eight children, were injured in the collision.
On Saturday, Shameka L. Jones was driving a Ford Expedition northbound on I-75 when she drove into the shoulder, went airborne, overturned several times and struck numerous trees. Jones was in the vehicle with two other adults and nine children, ranging in age from 6 months to 10 years.
Jones, who was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, was listed in serious condition. The 6-month-old was also listed in serious condition, while the other surviving children were treated for minor injuries.
FHP noted that Shameka Jones will be facing charges of DUI manslaughter, nine counts of DUI with injuries, and one count of DUI with serious injury.
Shameka Jones proves to be yet another cautionary tale in the risks of driving under the influence. Aside from the knowledge that operating a vehicle under the influence is always dangerous, it is important to be aware of other drivers on the road who may not take this risk as seriously. Stay alert and avoid being in close proximity with anyone you think may be under the influence, or who appears to be operating their vehicle in any type of erratic fashion.
Additionally, it is critical to be sure that your insurance coverage allows you to be cared for in the event that someone decides to take this risk. Driving under the influence often voids coverage, so having uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, in addition to your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, will allow you to have peace of mind in the event that another driver causes a collision. This means that regardless of their coverage, you will have access to additional benefits for any medical costs you are forced to incur.