Arrest made in dramatic hit-and-run that critically injured teen

Manatee County

A Bradenton man is facing charges in connection with a hit-and-run crash that left a teen in critical condition on Thursday, authorities said.

Zachari Brock, 24, was arrested for leaving the scene of a crash involving serious injury and driving with no valid license involving a serious injury, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers obtained surveillance video, which shows a van try to turn into a gas station off U.S. 41 and clip the back of a black Audi driven by 19-year-old Jackson Kelley.

Kelley’s car goes airborne and can be seen flipping through the parking lot of the Lantern Inn and Suites and taking out a portion of a pool fence. Troopers said Kelley was ejected from the car.

He was rushed to Sarasota Memorial Hospital where he remains in critical condition.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to raise money for his medical expenses. The page says Kelley is in the ICU after undergoing surgery.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Brock was identified as the driver of the van and taken into custody. He faces charges of leaving the scene of a crash involving serious injury, a felony, and driving with no valid license involving a serious injury, also a felony, authorities said.

News Channel 8’s Gabrielle Shirley spoke to Kelley’s father, Michael Kelley, following the arrest. He could not have been more thankful for the tireless work of the troopers on this case.

“Thank God for FHP,” he says. “They did their due diligence. The officer was supposed to be off this weekend, one of them who handled the investigation, who was at the scene of the crime, and he says, ‘You know what? I need to be there and find this out and solve this,’ so they did it.”

Michael Kelley can now direct all of his attention to his son. 

“He is that kid that is brillant. He is athletic. He has a big heart and a kind soul,” he says. “It is not about the accident. It is not about arresting that guy. It is about a child’s life that has been changed forever.”

Michael Kelley says his son will be in the hospital for the foreseeable future recovering from his injuries.

He tells us, “Jack has got a bad brain injury, traumatic brain injury, and you just never know until he is not sedated anymore.”

Brock was released from the Manatee County Jail after posting $35,000 bond on Sunday.

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