Two cars decided to see who was faster, and now, one woman is dead. What charges do one of the street racers face for causing a deadly crash?

Street Racing Causes Deadly Accident

Around 10:30 am on Monday, June 3, 2024, three cars were driving near the intersection of North Dale Mabry and West South Avenue in Tampa, Florida.

Two of the cars driving south on Dale Mabry began to speed up and engage in a race. The two cars sped down the road heading toward the intersection of West South Avenue just as a Nissan Versa pulled out in front of them. One of the racing cars, a 2011 BMW 335i driven by 22-year-old Andy Roya Robaina, slammed into the Versa.

The driver of the Versa, said to be in his early to mid-70s, was taken to the hospital in stable condition. His passenger, Linda Strickland, 63, did not survive the collision, per reporting from Fox News 13.

The other car engaged in street racing avoided the accident and fled the scene.

Robaina, the driver of the BMW, walked away from the accident with no injuries but with serious criminal charges.

Related: Injured in a Car Accident? Here’s What You Need to Do Right Away.

Charged with Vehicular Homicide

Robaina was arrested on the scene for vehicular homicide and unlawful racing on a highway.

Defined under Florida Statute 782.071, vehicular homicide is second-degree felony defined as the “killing of a human being, or the killing of an unborn child by any injury to the mother, caused by the operation of a motor vehicle by another in a reckless manner likely to cause the death of, or great bodily harm to, another.”

It is a serious charge that carries the possible consequence of fifteen years in prison, fifteen years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.

Robaina was arrested at the scene and held in jail without bond due to a previous misdemeanor charge.

Related: What To Do After a Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault 

Charged with Unlawful Racing on a Highway

In addition to the felony vehicular homicide charge, Robaina was charged with unlawful racing on a highway.

Unlawful racing is defined in Florida Statute 316.191 as “the use of one or more motor vehicles in competition, arising from a challenge to demonstrate superiority of a motor vehicle or driver and the acceptance or competitive response to that challenge.”

Unlawful racing is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 365 days in jail, a fine of $500 to $1,000 for the first offense, and revocation of a driver’s license for one year.

Police are looking for the second driver involved in the race. If they find the driver, they may also charge them with unlawful racing. It is uncertain if the other driver would also be charged with vehicular homicide.

Street racing is a problem in the Tampa Bay area, and accidents leading to both unlawful racing charges and vehicular homicide have been previously covered on this blog.

Potential Wrongful Death Case

Robaina faces criminal charges that could lead to jail time, but there is also potential for him to face civil charges.

Strickland’s surviving family could choose to file a wrongful death case against Robaina. Wrongful death cases are a type of personal injury case that can be filed if the negligence of another party caused the death of an individual.

Wrongful death and negligence are outlined in Florida Statute Chapter 768. Under the law, gross negligence is defined as conduct “so reckless or wanting in care that it constituted a conscious disregard or indifference to the life, safety, or rights of persons exposed to such conduct.”

A wrongful death case could help the family receive compensation to cover the cost of:

  • Funeral and burial
  • Pre-death medical bills
  • Loss of financial contribution and future wages
  • Loss of consortium or companionship
  • Emotional distress of surviving family

Families have up to two years to file a wrongful death case.

Related: How Do You Sue for Wrongful Death? 

Do You Have a Car Accident Case to Discuss?

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the recklessness or negligence of another party, partner with an attorney who will fight for your best interests. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney right away to get legal advice and guidance that can help you get what you deserve after an accident.

If you have a case to discuss, contact TJ Grimaldi today. All consultants with TJ are free, and you don’t pay anything unless you win your case and get what is due to you. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.

TJ Grimaldi

TJ Grimaldi

TJ Grimaldi joined McIntyre in 2011. McIntyre recruited TJ to create the divisions of personal injury and family law, as well as to expand the existing criminal defense practice at the firm. During TJ’s tenure at McIntyre, he has helped oversee and grow these practice areas. He continues to practice in these divisions while also expanding his own practice areas to include estate planning and immigration law. TJ is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Florida and the United States District Court for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida.