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State attorney: Criminal charges still possible in FSU student's death following TPD investigation

Posted at 6:26 PM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 18:26:32-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The driver responsible for hitting and killing an FSU student who was crossing West Tennessee Street Thursday has yet to receive charges for the teenager's death.

Instead, police say the 24-year-old driver has only been issued citations for running the red light.

ABC 27 talked to the Tallahassee state attorney about why this is.

It's only been a little more than 24 hours since the crash happened. State attorney Jack Campbell says they're going to need a lot more time than that to figure out if death charges are appropriate for this case.

Campbell says charges are usually filed right away for homicide cases or blatantly obvious cases of manslaughter like a DUI crash.

This wasn't one of those.

In an investigation like this, traffic engineers need to look into speeds and other determining factors and an autopsy on the person who died. Campbell says they want to get everything right before they charge someone.

"There are certainly traffic crashes that are criminal and people are charged with those crimes and there are also traffic crashes that are accidents," Campbell explained. "Even when somebody dies, that is not a criminal offense. What happened in this case? I don't know yet. I want to find out what the evidence is and make a thoughtful decision."

Campbell says Tallahassee PD could still take weeks to months to close the case and says that's completely normal for traffic crashes like this. Even if charges are filed, He says sometimes these cases can take years before they go to trial.