In the case of a young girl who was killed in a hit-and-run crash, late Monday afternoon, Florida Highway Patrol confirmed it would turn over the entire investigative case to the State Attorney.
The decision to issue only a careless driving citation did not sit well with the family of Alana Tamplin’s family and friends.
The crash report states Mary Ann Miller was the driver of a car that struck and killed Alana, 12 years old, and that she left the scene only to return a short time later.
“I just can’t believe that this is what justice is,” said Sarah Tamplin, the victim’s mother. “It’s a gross negligence of the law. And there’s no getting around it. Someone somewhere doesn’t care that a child is lost.”
It turns out the Florida Highway Patrol decided on criminal charges without consulting the state attorney. After hearing that Mary would likely have to pay a $161 ticket for her involvement in the incident, the Tamplin family friends started an online petition for justice.
“I want Alana’s name to be always be remembered,” said Katie Johnson, a Tamplin family friend. “She would have really made something of her life and we’re going to keep doing whatever it takes to make that happen.”
Now, those closest to Alana will get what they want. A prosecutor will be reviewing the entire file, which includes detailed interviews with Mary, her passenger and witnesses. Friday, Sarah was both angry and heartbroken.
“The woman who murdered my daughter is going to be getting off with a citation and six months without her license,” Sarah said, “because apparently, that’s the cost of taking somebody’s life in Fort Myers.”
The family may have to wait a while as the State Attorney’s Office can take as long as it needs to before announcing a decision. But, if prosecutors determine the driver committed a crime, then she could be charged.
“I never got to say goodbye,” Sarah said. “You robbed me of that ability because you stood there and watched her die.”