Driving allows us the convenience to efficiently carry out our daily activities to and from work and school, run errands, go shopping, attend sporting and entertainment events and other activities. But with that convenience, also brings the increased possibility of being involved in a car accident ranging from a minor fender bender to a more serious accident that may seriously injure or kill us or a loved one. Although safety measures are in place to try and reduce such incidents including safe driving limits, seat belt requirements and laws making driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs illegal, unfortunately serious and fatal accidents attributed to negligence and carelessness occur on our Tampa Bay and surrounding area roadways and highways.

In fact, Polk county deputies reported that a crash off of a Winter Haven road claimed the life of former FSU head coach Bobby Bowden’s 23 year old grandson, Taylor “T.J” Bowden, a recent graduate at Florida State. Also killed in the accident was the driver, Rafael Fernandes de Auguiar-Valini, a close friend of T.J. The upside down and submerged car was spotted around 8:00 a.m. on December 26, 2013 by a Florida Refuse Truck driver, who noticed the car in a creek or ditch approximately 5 ft. deep. According to investigators, it appears that the car was heading north on Country Club Road when it cross the southbound lane and broke through a wooden fence, where it went down an embankment and landed upside down in the water.

Winter Haven Police, Polk County Sheriff Office Deputies, and the Polk County Sheriff Office dive team arrived at the accident scene where they found the front end of the car completely submerged and the back end sticking out of the water. Sometime later, members of the dive team heard noises coming from the back seat and were able to rescue the back seat passenger, Robert Edwards, who was treated for hypothermia and other injuries. Two deceased males were discovered in the front seat of the car by the dive team identified as passenger T.J. Bowden and driver of the vehicle, Rafael Fernandes de Auguiar-Valini. Accident investigators are awaiting a toxicology report, but suspect alcohol may have played a factor in this deadly and tragic accident.

Under Florida law, when someone’s life is cut short in an accident caused by negligence or carelessness, the victim’s family has the legal right to seek damages for wrongful death against the person or entity whose negligence or carelessness resulted in their loved one’s death. Wrongful death actions may result from accidents involving cars, trucks, buses, trains, airplanes, defective products, intentional crimes of bullying or hazing. In the case of the death of T.J. Bowden, if toxicology reports determine that alcohol did play a role in the accidental death of T.J Bowden, then Bowden’s family would have the right to file a wrongful death action against driver and/or his insurance company.

Losing someone you care about suddenly as the result of someone else’s negligent or careless behavior is difficult for families to accept. At Brooks Law Group, we understand just how difficult it is for you to lose someone you love. We are here to help and advise you at this stressful, emotional and sad time in your life. Our years of experience representing families of victims who lost their loved ones in tragic wrongful death accidents enables us to provide you with the level of expertise and skills necessary to aggressively pursue damages against the responsible person/entity so you can seek justice for your loved one. Please contact us for a free consultation and advice.

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.