Video: Daytona Beach police drones help track down hit-and-run suspect

Teen found in wooded area

The Daytona Beach Police Department said drones helped them track a hit-and-run suspect on May 19, 2021. (Daytona Beach Police Department)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Daytona Beach Police Department said its drones hovering overhead were able to help officers track down a teenage hit-and-run suspect Wednesday morning.

The crash involving a red Ford and a gold van at the intersection of Bill France Boulevard and Mason Avenue was reported around 6:30 a.m.

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Records show the 911 caller said the Ford driver jumped out of the vehicle and ran northwest on Mason Avenue.

Police said within minutes, they had drones in the air that were able to locate the 17-year-old suspect running through a parking lot, which allowed the pilots to provide officers on the ground with the teen’s location as he jumped a fence and went into a wooded area.

The trees made it hard for the drones to follow the suspect but by that point, officers on the ground, including a K-9, were able to track him to Clyde Morris Boulevard, according to the department.

Records show the teen was arrested on charges that include felony hit and run and driving a vehicle without a driver’s license. Police said the Ford he was driving had been reported stolen out of Port Orange.

The 78-year-old man driving the van was taken to an area hospital as a trauma alert. His injuries are not considered life threatening. The teen was also taken to an area hospital after he told paramedics his blood sugar was low.