Driver Found Carrying Meth After Hit-and-Run Crash Involving Paraplegic Bicyclist
Flagler County, Florida – In a shocking turn of events, a driver was discovered in possession of methamphetamine following a hit-and-run accident on Thursday, which involved a paraplegic bicyclist. The incident, as reported by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, occurred around 5:54 p.m. near Sesame Boulevard. The Ford hatchback responsible for the collision fled the scene, leaving the injured cyclist behind.
The bicyclist, identified as Stephen Watkins, had previously contracted a life-threatening staph infection while working as a detention deputy at the FCSO. This infection ultimately resulted in his paralysis from the chest down. Fortunately, Watkins only sustained minor injuries in the crash and was promptly taken to the hospital for evaluation, according to deputies.
Investigators swiftly tracked down the Ford to a residence in Palm Coast, believed to be the home of the owner, Andrew Croswell, aged 35. However, when deputies arrived, Croswell’s parents informed them that he was not present at the time. Nevertheless, their persistence paid off, as the Ford was eventually spotted along US-1. A subsequent traffic stop led to the discovery of Croswell in the passenger’s seat, accompanied by driver Clara Smith, aged 48.
Croswell admitted to driving the car during the collision, but shockingly claimed that he was unaware of having struck someone, which prompted him not to stop. Deputies, however, noted that the vehicle exhibited damage consistent with the crash, contradicting Croswell’s statement. Body-camera footage captured during the traffic stop revealed Croswell’s dismissive response when questioned about the damage, as he nonchalantly stated, “I hit a curb.”
Further investigation by the deputies led to the discovery of a “crystal-like substance” resembling methamphetamine in Smith’s purse. Subsequently, it was confirmed that the substance indeed was methamphetamine. In a startling development, deputies also found methamphetamine “concealed” on Croswell’s person. The video footage from the arrest showed Croswell candidly admitting, “It’s between the cheeks,” while attempting to retrieve the concealed substance while handcuffed.
After a rather peculiar and collaborative effort involving the deputies, the investigators were able to recover the illicit substance, which had been hidden in Croswell’s buttocks. Sheriff Rick Staly, expressing his dismay over the hit-and-run incident, emphasized the severity of the crime, particularly given the victim’s paralysis and his significant standing within the community. He commended the witnesses who promptly reported the incident and the joint effort that led to the apprehension of the driver. Fortunately, Watkins did not sustain any serious injuries in the accident.
As for the suspects, Croswell now faces multiple charges, including leaving the scene of a crash, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and introducing contraband into an inmate facility. He is currently being held on a bond of $8,000. Similarly, Smith faces charges of drug possession without a prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of methamphetamine, with a bond set at $3,500.
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the gravity of hit-and-run accidents and the potential dangers associated with illicit substances. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office continues to urge individuals to prioritize responsible and law-abiding behavior on the roads.