Statutes (2004), for leaving the scene of a crash resulting in the death of a person. The
trial court concluded that Elder could not be charged under the statute because Elder's
car did not collide with another vehicle and, therefore, it was not involved in a crash.
We disagree and reverse.
Elder was driving on Fowler Avenue in Tampa when she turned into the
path of a car driven by Rikki Lewis. To avoid hitting Elder's car, Lewis swerved, lost
control of the car, and drove off the road. The car flipped over, ejecting a passenger
and killing Lewis. Elder left the scene and was later charged with leaving the scene of a
crash with death under section 316.027(1)(b), which provides as follows:
The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in the death of any person must immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash, or as close thereto as possible, and must remain at the scene of the crash until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of s. 316.062. Any person who willfully violates this paragraph is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Elder filed a motion to dismiss the information pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal
Procedure 3.190(c)(4), asserting that a motorist cannot be charged with leaving the
scene of a crash unless there was actual contact between the two vehicles. The trial
court granted Elder=s motion stating, without elaboration, that "[t]he requirements of
Florida Statute [sic] Section 316.027(1)(b) have not been met in this case."
In dismissing the charge, the trial court relied on C.J.P. v. State, 672 So.
2d 62 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996). In that case, C.J.P. had parked his car down the street from
a car that he and two companions mistakenly believed was occupied by individuals they
had been in a dispute with earlier that evening. C.J.P. and his companions got out of
C.J.P.'s car, and one of his companions approached the driver of the other car in a