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Family sues driver in fatal wreck

Published Oct. 16, 2005

The family of a man killed in a head-on collision last fall has sued the other driver, who was charged with DUI-manslaughter in connection with the accident. Michael Florio, 27, of Hudson, was charged with drunken driving and manslaughter after the accident Nov. 5. His blood-alcohol level was 0.24 percent, more than twice the level at which a person is presumed intoxicated under Florida law.

William E. Anderson of Lake Okeechobee was killed in the accident, which occurred on Fivay Road in Hudson when Florio drove a Chevrolet Blazer into Anderson's lane and the two vehicles collided head-on, arrest reports said. Anderson's wife, Teresa, their 2-year-old son, Jonathon, and two other passengers in Anderson's Dodge Ram Charger suffered minor injuries.

On Monday, Mrs. Anderson, Anderson's two sons and two stepsons sued Florio for damages, medical expenses, funeral expenses, pain and suffering and the loss of income Anderson would have provided.

Florio was driving a Blazer owned by Anthony Triggiano, and Anderson's family sued Triggiano as well, saying he was negligent in letting Florio drive the vehicle.

Florio also was injured in the accident and was treated at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa for a concussion and a broken hip and shoulder. He was arrested in December after being released from the hospital.

Anderson and Florio were pinned in their vehicles the night of the accident, but emergency workers were able to first free Florio.

"They got to me first," Florio said. He still uses a walker and a cane and plans to fight the charges, as well as the new suit, he said Monday.

Florio still faces the DUI-manslaughter charges, as well as charges of driving with an invalid license.

Unaware of the lawsuit until informed Monday night by a reporter, Florio said he does not have a lawyer on the criminal charges.