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UF students, lawyers fight for safety on University Avenue after student deaths

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 6:17 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The untimely deaths of freshmen University of Florida students Maggie Paxton and Sophia Lambert left a lasting mark on those who were close to them on campus.

“To the coward that left our sweet Maggie lying out in the street have an ounce of humanity and come forward,” said Stuart Grossman, an attorney representing the families involved in both accidents.

RELATED STORY: Lawsuit names driver who hit, killed University of Florida student Maggie Paxton

Grossman, Roth, Yaffa and Cohen trial lawyers represent the families of Paxton and Lambert gave students at UF an update on their lawsuit seeking justice for their deaths.

“It’s ironic isn’t it that her friends and sorority sisters come forward and whoever this person is still hiding,” added Grossman. “We found the person who owned the vehicle and we’ve sued them and we’ve alleged that he was driving as well. We’ll take his deposition and we’ll find the truth, the police are still investigating this.”

RELATED STORY: Families of two University of Florida students who died along University ave retain the same law firm

The Lamberts filed a complaint for wrongful death against Uber and the parties directly responsible for Sophia’s death. Miguel Figueroa is named as the driver responsible in Paxton’s case. No arrest has been made.

“I’m starting to adjust to not going home and having someone there,” said UF student Sydney Haskin.

In the crowd were friends, sorority sisters and Haskin, who is Lambert’s roommate.

“Two days after it happened my boyfriend’s mom passed so I’ve been living in Jacksonville,” added Haskin. “But when I do drive University it’s not fun. I really definitely cannot really drive past university row.”

Both tragedies happened nearly within a month of one another and fueled the fire for UF student Kailey Kiss who is close to both incidents.

“You know, speed tables, speed bumps those are temporary changes,” said Kiss.

Florida Not One More was founded by Kiss who said finding justice for Paxton and Lambert is only the first step. The next is working with UF, the Florida Department of Transportation and the city to ensure pedestrian safety is prioritized.

“I lost my sorority sister Maggie Paxton due to a hit and run on University Avenue,” mentioned Kiss. “Nearly a month later I was on the same road just trying to clear my head and just get out of my apartment for the night and I witnessed the same thing happen to Sophia Lambert and her friends right next to me, right in front of my eyes.”

Gainesville police are still investigating.

RELATED STORIES:

Parents of University of Florida students sue after daughters killed in car crashes

18-year-old UF hit and run victim Margaret Paxton remembered by best friend

UF’s Chabad Jewish center honors Sophia Lambert with a memorial service and more than 400 people attended the celebration of life

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