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Drugged Driving: It’s Not What You Think

In May 2010, 51-year-old Odette Kane and her father, Robert Kane, went out to pick up a family dinner. They never returned. On their way home, they were involved in a Boca Raton car crash.

Twenty-six-year-old Angela Stracar was high on oxycodone, alprazolam, alcohol, and THC. She drove her SUV off the road and through the “Boca Isles South” sign. The vehicle went airborne and landed on top of the Kanes’ car. The father and daughter died at the scene.

Drug-impaired driving in Palm Beach County is on the rise, but drugged drivers are not only abusing street drugs such as marijuana and cocaine anymore. Instead, police and injury lawyers in West Palm Beach are seeing an increase in drug-related crashes involving prescription drugs, especially the drugs alprazolam (Xanax) and oxycodone.

In 2010, there were 64 drug-related crashes in Palm Beach County-18 percent more than in 2009. In Florida, there were a total of 1,236 drug-related accidents in 2010. This pattern is unique to Florida. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that marijuana and cocaine are still the leading drugs involved in fatal wrecks throughout the United States.

The drugs that are most commonly involved in deadly Florida car crashes are the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, followed by the pain medication oxycodone. These drugs are often combined with alcohol and other drugs. Many times, a painkiller, a tranquilizer or sedative, and a muscle relaxer are combined and taken with alcohol. The combination can cause the driver to become dramatically drowsy and lethargic; the combination affects both reaction time and judgment.

Stracar has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and DUI homicide, but the charges don’t ease the pain of Mrs. Kane, who still is mourning the loss of her daughter and husband.

If you have lost a loved one to a Florida drugged driving accident, you deserve compensation for your loss. An injury lawyer in West Palm Beach can help you get justice.

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