Jacksonville, FL - Lawsuits Filed By Victims' Family Against Driver Who Struck And Killed Orthodox Jewish Woman On Way To Synagogue
Jacksonville, FL - Almost two years to the day after an Orthodox Jewish woman was killed and her daughter severely injured while crossing a dangerous intersection in Jacksonville on their way to synagogue on Sabbath during Yom Kippur, two lawsuits have been filed against the driver of the vehicle and his company.
The Florida Times Union (http://bit.ly/1Oc8O0k) reports that Esther Ohayon was struck and killed by 66 year-old Michael Fortunato on September 13, 2013 as she and her daughter Orly were attempting to cross San Jose Boulevard on their way to Etz Chaim synagogue for the Sabbath. The incident left Orly, who was 16 at the time, with debilitating injuries that required two years of extensive physical therapy in order for her to regain her ability to walk.
Last week Thursday, Orly filed an auto negligence suit against Fortunato, while her sister filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of their mother.
Investigators determined at the time that the Ohayons’ inability to activate the electronic crossing sensor due to observance of the Sabbath may have been a factor in the accident, resulting in only a fine and drivers license suspension for Fortunato—-but records show this was the second road fatality involving Fortunato.
Four years prior to running down the Ohayons, Fortunato hit and killed 6 year-old Kaitlyn Springer as she attempted to cross a nearby intersection with her mother and brother. Investigators said at the time that Fortunato failed a subsequent eye exam, leading them to believe that he suffers from a genetic eye disease.
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