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Sarasota Jury Delivers Accountability For Fatal Hit And Run Driver


Venice, Sarasota County Florida – In a dramatic moment Friday, a man who was charged with fleeing after a deadly hit and run crash back on November 15, 2021, that left one dead and another person seriously injured, faced the outcome of the jury’s decision.

After a 4-day trial, 46-year-old Robert Davis Knowlton of Nokomis Florida was found guilty of all charges, including vehicular homicide, leaving the scene with death, driving while license suspended causing death, reckless driving with serious bodily injuries, and leaving the scene with serious bodily injuries, among others.

A Deadly Crash On Laurel Road At I-75

The original crash took place where Laurel Road at the I-75 interchange, and involved three vehicles.

The crash began as the driver of a pickup truck, later identified as 46-year-old Robert Davis Knowlton of Nokomis Florida, was traveling east on Laurel Road approaching the intersection of the Interstate 75 northbound exit ramp where the traffic signal was red.

As Knowlton approached the intersection, two vehicles were lawfully proceeding through the intersection after exiting northbound I-75 attempting to turn left from the exit ramp onto westbound Laurel Road.

In the left turn lane of the exit was a pickup truck a 52-year-old man from Nokomis, and in the right turn lane was a sedan driven by a 64-year-old man from Miami Florida.

At 9:12 PM Knowlton, failed to stop for the red traffic signal and the front of his pickup truck collided with the left side of the pickup exiting I-75.

After crashing into the pickup, Knowlton’s vehicle continued on where is also collided with the right-front of the sedan. Knowlton’s pickup hit both vehicles with extreme force having not slowed prior to the crash.

After the collisions, Knowlton’s pickup truck rotated and came to rest on the eastbound lane of Laurel Road, east of the interchange. The second pickup truck driven by the 52 year-old-man from Nokomis stopped in the eastbound travel lane and grass median of Laurel Road, and the sedan driven by the 64 year-old-man from Miami ended up on the northbound exit ramp of I-75.

Tragically, the 52 year-old-man form Nokomis was pronounced deceased at the scene of the accident while the 64-year-old man from Miami who was driving the sedan was seriously injured.

Immediately after the crash, rather than calling the police and dealing with the consequences of running the light, Robert Knowlton fled the scene of the deadly accident on foot.

Soon after the crash, authorities were able to locate and identify the driver of the first pickup truck, and arrested 46-year-old Robert Davis Knowlton for multiple felony charges.

The charges included Leaving the scene of an accident with a death, leaving the scene of an accident with serious injury, and driving with a revoked license involving a crash with death.

Further investigations by FHP revealed that Knowlton had been fleeing from a previous crash before causing this fatal accident.

It Gets Worse

Knowlton was initially able to post bond and was released, but after release he fled authorities once again. However he did not get very far, the Florida Highway Patrol with assistance from the US Federal Marshals Office located Knowlton at a motel in Charlotte County and where he was once again arrested and booked back into jail.

Never Flee The Scene Of A Serious Crash – It’s Florida Law

While some drivers may become distraught, confused and panic after being involved in a serious crash – always remember you cannot leave the scene of an accident without fulfilling your legal civil responsibilities. In fact, Florida has zero tolerance for this – under Florida law leaving the site of a crash that has resulted in someone being injured is a third-degree felony, and according to Florida’s sentencing guidelines, is punishable as a Level 5 offense. This will be much worse for an accident involving a death, and worse still for a case like Knowlton’s who was obviously intentionally fleeing with a revoked driver’s license.

On Friday, a jury delivered accountability to Robert Davis Knowlton, however while this may bring some measure of closure to the families of the victims, no amount of justice can bring back those lost by negligent and criminally negligent drivers.

Protect Yourself From Uninsured Drivers

Uninsured drivers are far more common in Florida than people realize. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from the outcome of a serious crash with a hit and run driver, is to make sure you are covered for uninsured / under insured crashes. Without that coverage you and your family may be limited to just $10,000 of PIP (personal injury protection).

Don’t Face Challenging Times After A Crash Alone.

If you or a loved one have been affected by a crash with an uninsured driver, it’s vital to seek expert legal guidance. At Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh, we understand the immense challenges that arise following devastating accidents like this. As experienced auto accident attorneys in Sarasota, we are committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive legal support to help you navigate these difficult times.

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, especially when it involves serious injuries or the loss of a loved one. Our team of Sarasota car accident lawyers is dedicated to ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. With our deep understanding of Florida’s traffic laws and insurance policies, we are well-equipped to handle all aspects of your case.

Choosing the right auto accident lawyer in Sarasota can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Our attorneys at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh have a proven track record of success in representing accident victims and their families. We are committed to fighting for justice and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable.

Contact Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh today for a free consultation. Let us put our expertise to work for you, helping you to secure the best possible outcome for your situation. Call us now or visit our website to learn more about how we can assist you as your trusted Sarasota auto accident attorneys.

During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

Sarasota Jury Delivers Accountability For Fatal Hit And Run Driver

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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