The Florida driver who killed James White’s father in a September car crash is now facing charges for reckless driving and vehicular homicide. The New York Post reported this week that Daniel Chamblin was reportedly traveling at 95 miles per hour when he collided with the parents of the New England Patriots running back.
The collision caused the Whites’ car to flip over a nearby curb, and its irregular landing trapped the couple inside a burning vehicle. Chamblin has a history of speeding and has now lost the right to drive according to the presiding judge. He faces criminal conviction.
Under Florida law, reckless driving is driving with the “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Reckless driving is a more serious charge than speeding or careless driving. Reckless driving is a crime, and its severity depends upon how serious the offense was, whether the driver is guilty of prior offenses and other relevant factors.
In this state, reckless drivers face 90 days imprisonment and heavy fines, even for a first conviction. Because the incident resulted in death, Chamblin may be facing a third-degree felony.
Vehicular homicide is even more egregious than reckless driving under state law, and Chamblin may face second- or third-degree felonies for that count. Vehicular homicide in Florida is causing the death of a passenger or fetus by operating the vehicle “in a reckless manner likely to cause the death of, or great bodily harm to, another.”
Chamblin may have a reasonable defense if he can demonstrate that his speeding was unintentional or precipitated by an emergency, or that confounding factors caused the collision. He may also be able to argue that the other driver contributed to the incident, thereby reducing his fault. The result of the case will depend on how a court assesses Chamblin’s contribution to the accident.