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Questions raised about man's driving privileges after second deadly crash

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Updated: 9/17/2013 8:31 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Charges are still pending against Michael Fortunato for the death of 57-year-old Esther Ohayon.

The Florida Highway Patrol confirms Fortunato was driving in a crash in 2009 that killed a 6-year-old girl, as well as having a history of tickets and violations on his record. These facts are raising questions as to why he was even driving to begin with.

Even FHP Sgt. Dylan Bryan was shocked to learn Fortunato was behind the wheel of not one but two deadly pedestrian accidents.

"I have never seen a coincidence of this magnitude to occur," said Bryan.

Whether you call it a tragic coincidence or an accident waiting to happen, many wonder why it happened at all.

Both deadly accidents happened in Rep. Charles McBurney's district.

"What I'm truly outraged about is why, from all the facts that I've read, why this person would still be on the road," said McBurney.

According to Bryan, while Fortunato had an expired license during the most recent crash and has a driving record that includes numerous traffic infractions, it doesn't necessarily mean his license should be revoked.

"Law-enforcement agencies issue citations based on violations of law, that's the way we enforce the traffic laws of our state. From that point, it's left up to the judicial system to impose penalties for those citations," said Bryan.

So far, Fortunato's penalties have included fines and court dates but his driving privileges remain.

If it's determined he committed a criminal offense in the crash that killed Ohayon, it's possible his license could be revoked.

Fortunato was supposed to be in traffic court on Tuesday for running a red light in April of this year, but his attorney, Gus Soto, showed up on his behalf.

According to Soto, the judge did not impose any points on Fortunato's license for that offense because he has had a clean record for the past seven years. Fortunato does, however, have to pay a $239 fine.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

sneezerdoc - 9/22/2013 6:18 AM
0 Votes
This guy needs to be in Jail forever. He is a menace to society. If the legal system fails call in Dexter! Better yet his organs should be harvested now to save upstanding members of our society

CaptA60 - 9/18/2013 5:43 PM
0 Votes
They say they can't stop anyone from driving well if it were me they would have put me in JAIL. Money talks and everything else walks

Realchange - 9/18/2013 10:24 AM
0 Votes
Let's see we got police officers texting and driving causing accident they get off scott free. We have pedestrians walking into oncoming traffic all the time ignoring any common sense or right of way laws. Everyone here has convicted this guy without looking at the evidence. Could he be bad behind the wheel ? Possibly could he also just have bad luck that suicidal pedestrians want run in front of his car that is possible as well. I have seen kids run chasing a ball out into a crowded street. I have seen 12 year old boy walk into oncoming traffic without looking cause he was texting. I have seen an adult female walk into oncoming traffic because she didn't have the common sense to look at car approaching at normal speed. I have seen other people try to get clipped by cars on purpose to collect insurance money. I have seen drunk men walking down the middle of road at late night wanting to die apparently. People often say when I cross street on foot that I wait to long. My thing is better to make sure I get to the other side alive than run across like an animal and get hit. Forgot to mention I have seen people walking on the road who think they own the road and refuse to walk in the grass. One person recently in particular refuses to use the sidewalk that was put in she, and few her relatives, insist that a blacktop road belongs to them, and not to the cars passing through. That if they don't want use the sidewalk that is their right. It is their right to use the road and cars should stop when they can't pass and wait while her relatives and friends are done walking down the road. You can guess their race by their attitude.

Sunshine - 9/17/2013 9:14 PM
0 Votes
The judge is wrong in this. It is clearly on court records that his last ticket before this one was dated 10/11/2007 and that is 6 years. It was for "LICENSE; KNOWINGLY OPER VEH W/ DL SUSP, CANCELLED, REVOKED". He not only had to pay a fine but he also had to be sent a late notice with fee. He paid it 7/7/2008. Evidently he doesn't like paying the fines either. It makes you wonder what connections this guy has.
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