The shocking hit-and-run accident that caused the wrongful death of a pedestrian on Tuesday appears to have been solved. Christopher Matthew Williams, 47, of Gulf Breeze has been arrested and is being held without bond at the Santa Rosa County Jail.
About 1:20 a.m. on Tuesday, Ian Smith was standing on the grass shoulder of Via de Luna near a popular area strip mall. According to police reports, Smith was standing between the westbound lane of Via de Luna and a parking lot when a car hit the raised curb, went over it, and struck Smith down — then continued west on Via de Luna.
Smith was taken to Baptist Hospital after the car accident. He was pronounced dead about an hour later, at approximately 2:15 a.m.
Witnesses to the hit and run described the car that hit Smith as a Toyota Camry with a heavily damaged or shattered windshield. The Camry was later found and is said to contained physical evidence of the wrongful death crash. According to the Pensacola News Journal, physical evidence and witness identifications were used to determine that Williams was the driver of the Toyota Camry.
Police arrested Williams without incident at his home late Tuesday. He is charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, driving with a suspended license and having no valid driver’s license. In addition to the criminal charges, he may face a wrongful death claim by Smith’s family.
“Arrest made in fatal hit-and-run at Pensacola Beach” (Pensacola News Journal, August 25, 2010)