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Suspect turns self in for fatal wheelchair hit-and-run

8:46 PM, Oct 29, 2013   |    comments
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MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- UPDATE: Christopher Michael Hovey Sr. turned himself in to police around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday. Hovey has been fully cooperative with investigators and has indicated that he was involved in the crash, according to FHP. The 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer, owned by Hovey, has been secured and taken as evidence for involvement in this investigation.

The Florida Highway Patrol is asking for the public's help in a pedestrian hit-and-run crash involving a man in a wheelchair. 

The accident happened at 10 p.m. on October 20 at Mimosa Avenue North near Sesame Street. The unknown vehicle was traveling north when allegedly striking the victim, who was in a wheelchair heading home.

"I was told that they drug him 30 feet and left him on the side of the road," said Christopher's mother, Lori Strickland, of Keystone Heights.

The road does not have a sidewalk and police say the victim was traveling in the road, says FHP Sgt. Bryan Dylan.

Timothy Mosley, of Middleburg, said he and his daughter ocassionally walk down Mimosa. He said he saw Christopher Strickland a few times. For him, Mosley said, this hits close to home.

"It's kind of sad, because my wife died like that in '06. So, it's really sad. I know what the people's going through. I hope eventually, they find the person," he said.

The driver then left the scene, says FHP. The release details the vehicle should have damage to the front or left front area.

Lori said her son was hit by a car 12 years ago when he was 19 while on his way home from work that left him paraylized from the chest down.

In the wake of her son's death, Lori said she feels "Lost, lonely, heartbroken."

The victim has been identified by Sgt. Dylan as Christopher Strickland, 32.

"He loved to dance and he loved to be with family and friends," said Christopher's mother, Lori.

Lori said she had a message for whomever was behind the wheel.

"If you would've stayed, he would've got help sooner. He might not've passed away. "

Christopher's funeral is Saturday November 2, at 2 p.m. at the Jones Gallagher Funeral Home in Keystone Heights.

Anyone who has any information on the persons or vehicle involved in the case should contact the Florida Highway Dispatch Center at 904-359-6572 or First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

First Coast News

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