Driver who saw head-on crash tells 911 that couple was dead

Shawn Blitchington, 45, accused of hit-and-run, held on $750,000 bond


BRYCEVILLE, Fla. – A driver who witnessed a pickup truck slam into a Honda Civic on U.S. 301 last Saturday night called 911 to report the crash, saying he tried to help the young couple who died, but there was nothing he could do.

State troopers said Bailey McKnight, 22, Ryan Kennedy, 21, and the couple's child, with whom McKnight was eight months pregnant, died after they were struck by a Ford F-250 driven by Shawn Blitchington.

Blitchington, 45, left the scene before law enforcement could arrive. Nassau County deputies found him about five hours later in a ditch just down the street and about five houses away from the scene.

The caller told the 911 operator the driver of the truck got out and appeared unhurt, but from the way he was walking, he appeared drunk.

LISTEN: 911 call reports crash, victims dead

About five hours after the crash, Nassau County deputies found him in a ditch just down the street and about five houses away from the scene. Blitchington was charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing a fatality. He appeared before a Nassau County judge Tuesday morning and remains in jail on a $750,000 bond.

News4Jax has learned Blitchington has a lengthy rap sheet, including five DUI arrests. He was convicted four times. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, he was driving on a suspended license. 

Toxicology reports have not been released yet, indicating whether or not he was under the influence Saturday night.

About the Author: