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Man Arrested for Fatal Hit-and-Run of Cyclist in Volusia County

This past Saturday, an officer with the South Daytona Police Department was driving along Ridgewood Avenue close to 3:00 in the morning when he saw an abandoned bicycle in the street’s median. The part that most troubled the officer was that the bike’s front light was still on. Climbing out of the cruiser, the officer approached the bike. He discovered debris from a car scattered around the bike, and the bike itself seemed to have sustained damage. Movement in the grass alerted the officer to the presence of the bicyclist. He was lying nearby, and the officer could tell immediately that the man was very badly injured.

The officer phoned for backup and an ambulance, both of which arrived on the scene shortly afterwards. The injured cyclist, a man named Sterling Wright, was gingerly loaded into the ambulance and rushed towards the hospital, but the extent of the injuries he suffered during the crash was too severe and he was pronounced dead before arriving to receive full emergency treatment.

Back at the crash site, police gathered together all the car parts they could find and began to piece together the information to try and discover what type of vehicle struck the cyclist. Utilizing the extensive knowledge of local mechanics, the police determined that the car in question was a 2015/2017 Hyundai Sonata. Shortly afterward, the puzzle’s solution presented itself when a local Enterprise Rental agency called to report that a recent client was in the process of attempting to drop off a rented Hyundai Sonata suffering from front end damage.

When the police arrived, they found the 37-year-old Eugene Carwise, renter of the Hyundai Sonata, as well as the car in question. When questioned, Carwise told police that he was returning to his house after spending some time at a club in the area of Holly Hill when the accident took place. Not noticing the cyclist, Carwise believed he struck a curb. Carwise told the police that he did not stop, but when he arrived home and saw the damage to the front end of the vehicle he did call his insurance company.

The police statement indicated that the damage to the front of the vehicle matched perfectly the sort of damage one would expect to see if the car had violently struck a human. Hair was reportedly lodged in the headlight assembly, and the car’s windshield was damaged in a way that suggested impact with a human head.

The police arrested Carwise and charged him with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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