According to the Florida Highway Patrol, at approximately 9:00 a.m, Thursday, a pedestrian, who was walking north on U.S. 441, was struck and killed.
Troopers said Deandra Latron Stone, 32, was traveling northbound on U.S. 441 in his silver 2007 Hyundai Sonata in the right lane when he stopped at the red light at County Road 329.
A Witness said that when the light turned green, Stone’s vehicle did not move. The witness then honked their horn to alert the driver of the light change.
According to reports, Stone proceeded northbound from the traffic signal and was swerving. Witnesses told troopers that Stone nearly struck a guardrail several times.
The pedestrian, Timothy J. Taylor, 42, of Anthony, was walking northbound along the east shoulder when Stone failed to negotiate a left curve and entered the grassy shoulder.
The fright front of Stone’s vehicle then struck Taylor, at which time he went airborne and hit the windshield of the vehicle. Taylor came to his final rest on the east shoulder. Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene by Marion County Fire Rescue.
Following the collision, Stone veered left and continued northbound on U.S. 441 before being stopped by bystanders. They made sure he did not leave before FHP arrived on scene.
FHP Trooper, Corporal Thomas R. Dillon, obtained a search warrant in Marion County and blood samples were drawn from Stone. The trooper stated that Stone exhibited signs of being under the influence of drugs. He also failed his sobriety test at the scene.
Stone was arrested and charged with DUI Vehicular Manslaughter. He told troopers that he didn’t stop because he thought he had only hit a deer.
Stone has a lengthy criminal record and has had multiple traffic citations in Marion County.
He was just released from jail on February, 13, 2015, after he was arrested and charged with the Possession and Sale of Cocaine.
If you were witness to this incident, please contact authorities at at 352- 732-1260, ext. 232 or 236.