MULBERRY, Fla. (WFLA) — An 18-year-old Plant City man is charged in connection with a fatal hit-and-run in Polk County after deputies say he turned himself in several hours after the crash.
The crash is said to have happened just after 9 p.m. on Friday in the area of SR-60 and Espo Drive in Mulberry. According to deputies, 18-year-old Brock Case was headed west on SR-60 when he hit a 48-year-old Tampa man who was walking in the roadway.
A news release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office says Case initially pulled over because he knew he hit something, but thought it was a dog. Deputies say the crash caused Case’s airbag to deploy and there was significant damage to the front of his truck, including damage to both headlights to the point they didn’t work.
Case is accused of leaving the scene and driving home, “without further inspecting to see what he had hit or calling 911,” a sheriff’s office spokesperson wrote in the news release.
Deputies who responded to the scene of the crash collected evidence across what they called “a large field of debris.”
While detectives were investigating the crash, Case told several friends and family members about what happened, the sheriff’s office says. According to deputies, he eventually decided to go to the sheriff’s office southwest district in Lakeland to report the crash, and was cooperative with detectives.
“While we are proud of this young man for turning himself in, we want to use this as another opportunity to reiterate that failing to stop and render aid or call 911 when you are involved in a crash can mean the difference between life and death, and the difference between being charged with a felony or not being arrested at all,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement.
Judd added that, “it is possible Case would not have been charged had he simply stopped and dialed 911, due to the fact of where and how the victim was walking in the roadway. Our prayers are with the victim’s family.”
Case was charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death, a first-degree felony, and booked into the Polk County Jail. His truck was impounded for further analysis, according to deputies.