After a high-speed police chase ended in a crash, the Lakeland Police Department reported that a local teen had been injured. Fifteen-year-old Milaya Cooper, a resident of Plant City, reportedly died from injuries sustained in the accident shortly after arriving at Orlando Regional Medical Center.
According to WTSP news reports, the tragedy began when police attempted to stop a stolen vehicle in Plant City. As the driver attempted to flee, police continued to pursue the car on Interstate 4 until they neared Memorial Boulevard. According to reports, the driver of the stolen car allegedly tried to run over a police officer from Plant City. When Lakeland officers spotted the stolen car at a gas station, they tried to apprehend the suspect in rapid pursuit. When the car reached a roundabout, the driver lost control and car collided into a tree.
As police surrounded the wrecked vehicle, they opened the door on the driver’s side and apprehended 16-year-old Bobby McNeal. He immediately began to struggle against the police and never said anything about a passenger in the car. The impact of the crash had thrown 15-year-old Cooper into the backseat, where she wasn’t immediately visible to responding officers. Moments after the accident, the car caught on fire. More police arrived on the scene and spotted Cooper. They used fire extinguishers to put out the flames and managed to force open one of the rear doors and pull her from the wreckage.
Officials report that Cooper died after being transported to the nearest hospital. McNeal faces a variety of charges related to the accident. In Plant City, he was charged with three counts of “fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer”, two counts of aggravated assault, and one count of aggravated battery. Lakeland police also charged McNeal with attempting to elude and aggravated fleeing resulting in death, driving with no license resulting in death, and manslaughter.
McNeal suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the accident. He was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center for treatment. When his is discharged from the hospital, he will be apprehended and taken to jail.
“This accident was a terrible tragedy for Cooper, an innocent victim who was caught in an unfortunate situation,” said Bill Winters, an attorney from the top-rated Tampa personal injury law firm. “Our condolences go to the teen’s family and friends during their time of loss.”
Bill Winters is no stranger to tragic accidents on Florida’s roads. His firm regularly provides aggressive representation to victims of personal injury or wrongful death cases. These Tampa personal injury attorneys offer victims and families the opportunity to receive compensation in the aftermath of a tragic accident. Victims are legally free to see compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. In some cases, additional compensation may be available for pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident caused by another driver, a personal injury attorney can help. Schedule a free consultation to learn about your rights.