Man strikes pole, abandons girl ,7, at scene of crash, deputies say

Joshua Townsend arrested on one count of child neglect

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A Marion County man has been arrested for child neglect after a Sunday accident wherein he struck a pole and then fled the scene, deputies said.

Deputies said they responded to call about a child wandering in the road screaming and crying. When deputies arrived, they said they found a girl, 7, and a witness comforting her.

The child told deputies that Joshua Townsend was driving her to McDonald's when he struck a pole, deputies said.

Townsend went to assess the damage when the girl fell asleep, and when she arose, the truck was still running, but there was no Townsend, deputies said.

Deputies located Townsend at his home, and when asked about why he abandoned the child and truck he did not give an explanation, according to deputies.

Townsend was arrested on one count of child neglect.