According to a story that will appear in tomorrow’s St. Pete Times, the mother of a young woman killed walking on the Harbour Island bridge by a suspected drunken driver is suing the man accused in her death.
Early on Oct. 30, Kate Kohlier and Doug Kozar were leaving work at Tampa’s Marriott Waterside Hotel (coincidentally, where this author was married) and walking across the Harbour Island bridge when they were struck and killed by a car driven by Matthew R. Moye.
Another hotel employee, 47-year-old Joao Armando Fonseca Barbosa, suffered a broken ankle when he jumped out of the way of the speeding Cadillac, police said. Last week, Barbosa filed a Negligence lawsuit against Moye.
Kohlier was twenty-four (24) and “on the brink of graduating from the University of South Florida (USF) with a degree in psychology,” said attorney Tom Carey, who is representing Kohlier’s mother, Cindy Collins, in the lawsuit.
The University of South Florida (USF) has awarded the degree to Kohlier posthumously, Carey said.
Moye, a dentist in Riverview, has been charged with two (2) counts of Vehicular Homicide, two (2) counts of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Manslaughter and one (1) count of DUI with Serious Bodily Injury. He was released from the Hillsborough County jail after posting $119,000 bond.
The Wrongful Death suit, which will be filed in Hillsborough County, seeks damages in excess of $15,000.
Asked why he was filing the suit before criminal proceedings are completed, Carey said the incident was egregious enough to warrant the action.
“It’s the kind of case, the kind of tragedy, that could have been averted,” Carey said.