Police search for woman as possible witness to Daytona Beach hit-and-run

Body found pinned under car involved in hit-and-run ID'd

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona Beach police have identified on Tuesday the body that was found under a car on Sunday morning and are also searching for a woman who they believe may have witnessed the hit-and-run portion of the incident on Saturday. 

The victim found underneath a car was identified as Jerry Lyn Darnell, 65, whose last known address was in Haines City.

Police said on Tuesday afternoon they wanted to interview the woman, who they say has recently been staying at the Scottish Inn in Ormond Beach.

Saturday night's hit-and-run along Beville Road was connected to a 911 call Sunday morning from a couple picking up a swing set from the back lot of Toys R Us.

"What I think I'm seeing is not real, but this man is laying up under this car back here and he's not moving," a caller told dispatchers.

"The guy that was found under the car, we believe was the driver of a hit-and-run that occurred around 8:30 at night," said Chief Mike Chitwood.

Almost an hour later, police said someone spotted the same car behind Big Lots, but was never found. It wasn't until Sunday morning, when police said the man was found parked behind the toy store.

"One of the last things he did, was he Googled on his phone how to repair something to the undercarriage of the car," said Chitwood.

Investigators said he then made a makeshift ramp out of aluminum and sheet rock, then drove his car onto the ramp.

"He then got underneath to tinker with whatever damage was done during the hit-and-run. The ramp collapsed on him and crushed him, is basically what it's looking like right now," said Chitwood.

"Honey, my husband hollered at him like four different times. He's not answering. No, he's not. He's not moving," the caller told dispatchers.

Police said the man was homeless and lived out of his car.

"It's just an unfortunate accident. You have somebody who's obviously down and out on their luck, clearly from what we understand they had an alcohol problem and for whatever reason, decided to fix their car, using aluminum and sheet rock. It wasn't exactly the way to go," said Chitwood.

Investigators have not released the man's name. Police said no one else involved in the hit-and-run was hurt.

Check back to ClickOrlando.com as details come in.


The Criminal Investigation Division is attempting to identify the above pictured female, as
she needs to be interviewed.
She has recently been staying at the Scottish Inn in Ormond Beach.
Police are attempting to identify the woman and believe she may have been present during
the hit and run portion of the incident that occurred on Saturday, May 21, 2016.Please
contact Detective David Dinardi at 368-671-5219 or dinardid@dbpd.us

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