As a Boca Raton motorcycle accident attorney, I was interested to note that Florida authorities have made an arrest in the tragic and avoidable death of a motorcyclist last year. The St. Petersburg Times reported Jan. 18 that Deborah Terrero, 53, was arrested as a “fugitive from justice” at her home in Troy, NY over the weekend. Terrero is charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence in the crash that killed Nicole Centrangolo, 38, of New Port Richey. Centrangolo was a passenger on a motorcycle operated by 48-year-old Kenneth Dillon of Port Richey, who was seriously injured. Neither Terrero nor her passenger were injured.
According to the article, Dillon and Centrangolo were headed north on U.S. 19 when Terrero ran a stop sign on a side street. Dillon tried to avoid a crash by changing lanes, but Terrero’s turn was wide and Dillon rear-ended her SUV. It wasn’t immediately clear why Terrero was called a “fugitive from justice” in the warrant; reports from the time show that she did not hit and run. She was a resident of Hudson at the time, but apparently moved to New York during the investigation. However, state records show that she had five speeding tickets, several license suspensions and three charges of leaving the scene of a 2006 accident during her Florida residency. Her license was not suspended at the time of the arrest.
As a motorcycle crash attorney in Davie, I’m pleased to see that justice is being done for Centrangolo and Dillon. In reports from the time, the Florida Highway Patrol said charges were pending the outcome of an investigation, so presumably, law enforcement was considering charges from the beginning. In fact, if the FHP always had test results showing Terrero was intoxicated, it’s surprising that it took so long to make the arrest. The article doesn’t say why Terrero might have moved to upstate New York, but if she was trying to avoid an arrest and criminal conviction, the move will almost certainly count against her in the criminal case. It could also weaken her case significantly if Dillon or Centrangolo’s family choose to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit against her.
I am a motorcyclist as well as a Hollywood motorcycle accident lawyer, so cases of riders killed or seriously injured by careless drivers are important to me. At Cohn, Smith & Cohn, we dedicate part of our practice to representing victims of this kind of crash. In many motorcycle injury cases, victims are killed or left very seriously hurt, with head injuries, paralysis, severe burns and other catastrophic disabilities. When these injuries were caused by a driver who just wasn’t paying attention, victims and their families have the right to hold those drivers responsible. Even if the insurance company tries to evade its responsibilities by claiming the motorcyclist was at fault, our firm will fight hard to make sure clients get the compensation they deserve. That includes payment of all past and future medical bills, lost income and compensation for injuries, pain, emotional suffering and more.
Cohn, Smith & Cohn offers free, confidential consultations, so there’s no risk in speaking to us about your rights and your case. To set up a meeting or learn more, you can reach us at (954) 431-8100 or contact us through the Internet.