Teen who moved home to care for mother killed in moped crash

Craig Howitt arrested in Volusia County

DeLAND, Fla. – A DeLand teenager who recently moved back to Florida to care for his mother died when his moped was hit by a vehicle, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers said Nicholas Eason, 18, died of injuries he received while riding his moped on westbound U.S. 92 near Marsh Road at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Troopers said a 2000 Nissan Xtera driven by Craig Howitt, 39, rear-ended Eason.

Investigators said Eason was thrown onto the hood of Howitt's vehicle before falling off. Howitt stopped briefly, hit a nearby sign and kept driving, troopers said. An officer spotted his vehicle a couple of miles away, according to the FHP.

Howitt faces charges of DUI manslaughter.

Eason moved back to Florida from Missouri 10 days ago to help take care of his ailing mother, who is scheduled to have an organ transplant in the coming weeks.

Eason's mother said he was an avid BMX bike rider.

Eason's family said they plan to finalize funeral arraignment on Monday.

Howitt was taken to the Volusia County Jail. According to the Volusia County Clerk of Court's website, Howitt was found guilty of DUI in 2013.

About the Authors:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.