FHP defends death investigation of high school quarterback after parents' complaints

Florida Highway Patrol said its troopers are continuing to investigate the death of Nick Miner, an 18-year-old star quarterback at East River High School who was struck on the side of the road while helping a friend, despite concerns from Miner's parents about a lack of communication on that investigation.

"FHP’s not talking to me – they haven’t talked to me. They refuse to talk to me," Derek Miner, Nick's dad, told FOX 35 earlier this week.

Miner was killed in October while he was helping a friend whose truck went into a ditch after another driver struck his truck, causing it to crash into him, officials said.

So, FOX 35 took his concerns to FHP.

"We’re still evaluating, gathering evidence and engaging in interviews., waiting for toxicology to come back, physical evidence to come back," FHP spokesperson Lt. Channing Taylor said, adding that all of those details are part of the process of a solid case. "If we’re not ready to go and that subject demands a speedy trial as afforded by the constitution, and we’re not ready, you don’t get a second chance at trying somebody."

Officials have not yet made any arrests in connection to the crash or Miner's death. However, Miner's family alleged that the other driver involved has connections to law enforcement, and were working something may have been swept under the rug.

"Because of the fact that it’s a death of a young person it gets a little bit more priority. There’s no favoritism here. Regardless of whose involved," Lt. Taylor said.

"I appreciate him saying that, I would have loved to have heard that four weeks ago. So much keeps building up inside of you," Derek Miner said in response to Lt. Taylor's update.

Miner hired an attorney, Mark Longwell, to help get answers from FHP. Longwell said the woman investigating the case was rude.

"She could use some training in bedside manner I think. And they need to understand and work on that," he said.

Lt. Taylor said he is not the homicide investigator on the case so was not able to comment on witnesses, he said FHP does care about victims' families, including NIck's parents.

"We understand the victims. We understand their pain. And their need to know what’s going on. I really feel for them. I couldn’t imagine losing a son like that. It’ heartbreaking. My feelings go out to them," Lt. Taylor said.

"If that information, that message, came to me. We wouldn’t be sitting here talking right now," Derek Miner said. 

"Absolutely knowing the investigation is actually happening, that does help."