Answers still sought in deadly wreck
Published: Monday, January 5, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 4, 2009 at 7:02 p.m.
In mid-December, Gainesville police were back at the site of a deadly wreck that killed a University of Florida student riding a scooter about two weeks earlier.
On Dec. 2, a car ran into the back of a scooter carrying Michael R. VanWagner. The smaller vehicle was behind a pickup stopped at 17th Street and University Avenue. A 1993 Lincoln Town Car, driven by Monica Renee Toliver, 40, of Gainesville, crashed into the rear of the scooter with the impact forcing both the scooter and the pickup into the intersection, according to reports.
No charges have been filed against Toliver in connection with the crash. The case remains open, said Sgt. Joe Raulerson, who supervises the police department's traffic safety unit.
Police have yet to understand what caused Toliver to first hit a Gainesville Regional Utilities truck in the area of 18th Street and University Avenue, then straddle the sidewalk before continuing east on the road toward the fatal collision.
VanWagner died from his injuries later in the week. Police said he was not wearing a helmet.
Under state law, riders of motorcycles and scooters with an engine over 50 cc or with more than two brake horsepower and able to travel more than 30 mph must wear an approved Florida Department of Transportation helmet unless they're over 21 and meet specific insurance requirements of a minimum of $10,000 insurance coverage, according to University of Florida Police.
The day of the crash police said Toliver showed no obvious signs of impairment. She did submit to having her blood drawn for analysis and was allowed to leave the crash site.
Raulerson said it could take several months before the law enforcement agency receives the results of Toliver's blood test from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The blood draw can be used to see if a motorist was under the influence of alcohol or if there were any drugs in the person's system.
Raulerson also said the agency had no new information about the vehicle Toliver had been driving except it was not registered to her but to someone at the same Gainesville address as the local woman.
A check of Toliver's driving record in Florida shows two violations, one for unlawful speeding in 2003 and another for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle in 2006.
Until the blood test results come back, Raulerson said police have been gathering other information about the wreck, such as their work in mid-December when officers were laser mapping the crash site.
Hunt for answers continues
in wreck that killed student
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