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Hours after hit-run on SR 50, Brooksville pedestrian dies
The driver is arrested and could face more charges, police say.
By Joel Anderson, Times Staff Writer
Published February 19, 2008
Jason Morgan Blair, 29, faces a felony charge of leaving the scene of a crash.
BROOKSVILLE - A 35-year-old Brooksville man died Monday morning after being struck by a car in an apparent hit-and-run while walking to Wal-Mart with several friends, police said.
Anthony Morales was conscious and had a broken arm and broken leg, authorities say. However, he died at about 4:30 a.m. at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa.
A pathologist said the injuries from the accident may not have caused Morales' death, said Brooksville police Chief George Turner, who was awaiting results of an autopsy Monday afternoon.
The driver of the car, Jason Morgan Blair, 29, of Brooksville, faces a felony charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving death or personal injury. Blair was quickly tracked down by police and arrested shortly after the accident, according to police. He was booked into the Hernando County Jail and released after posting $500 bail.
Blair could face more charges pending the autopsy results, Turner said.
Blair told police that he was leaving work and was driving home when he suddenly came upon Morales and three friends walking eastbound along State Road 50 in Brooksville about 1:30 a.m. Blair hit Morales with his 1994 Ford Crown Victoria and kept on going, Turner said.
"He didn't see him until it was too late," Turner said. "Then he panicked and left the scene."
A Brooksville officer stopped Blair and noticed damage on the car that was consistent with hitting a person. Turner said alcohol or drug use was not suspected as a cause of the crash.
Morales was airlifted to St. Joseph's, where he died about three hours later.
Blair has been arrested for drug possession at least three times. A phone message left at his Brooksville home was not returned Monday evening.