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IN THE SECOND DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL, LAKELAND, FLORIDA - page 4 / 6

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threatening manner. The driver accelerated her car suddenly to escape and drove into

a brick mailbox. After the collision, C.J.P. and his companions got into his car and left

the scene. C.J.P. was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident1 with injuries.

On appeal from the order of disposition, the First District reversed, stating:

The State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that C.J.P., the driver of his own vehicle, left the scene of a collision. The driver of another automobile, Ms. Johns, had crashed into a stationary object, a brick mailbox, and had come to a stop in a residential yard while C.J.P. was present. Ms. Johns' vehicle was the only one involved in the "accident." To establish culpability under section 316.027 for leaving the scene of an accident, the prosecution had to prove that C.J.P. was "the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury . . . of any person." Because C.J.P. was not the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident, we need not address what the evidence showed concerning victim injury.

Id. at 64.

We agree with the State that C.J.P. is distinguishable because of Elder's

status as the driver of a car at the time of the crash. Although Elder's car did not crash,

Elder was nevertheless “involved” in the crash because her driving caused it. We do

not agree with Elder that before a driver can be found to have been "involved" in a

crash, the driver's car must collide with another car. Section 316.027(1)(b) does not

limit its application to the driver of any vehicle that collides with another vehicle but

instead requires the driver of any vehicle "involved" in a crash to stop. "Involved" is a

word of common usage, not defined in the statute, and as such should be construed in

its plain and ordinary sense. Francis v. State, 808 So. 2d 110, 138 (Fla. 2001).

1 Section 316.027 formerly made it a felony to leave the scene of an "accident." The statute was amended in 1999 to state that it is a felony to leave the scene of a "crash." See ch. 99-248, § 82, at 2586, Laws of Fla.

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