ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. – A man was arrested just over a week after a teenage girl was killed and another was critically injured in a hit-and-run crash in Alachua County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Troopers said they arrested the driver -- Brandon Holt, 24, of Waldo -- about 9 p.m. Thursday in Hawthorne.
Also on Thursday night, according to troopers, the white 1996 Ford F-250 pickup truck involved in the crash was located in Gainesville.
The crash happened about 9 p.m. Oct. 16 on County Road 364 at Southeast 58th Terrace in Micanopy, just south of Gainesville.
According to the Highway Patrol, two 14-year-old girls and a 13-year-old boy were walking east in the westbound lanes of C.R. 346 when, for unknown reasons, the pickup truck traveling east went into the westbound lanes, approaching the teenagers from behind, and a portion of the truck collided with two of the three teens.
"After the collision, the truck made a U-turn, came back, was aware he was involved in the crash with a person. When some of the witnesses went to check on him, he fled," said FHP Lt. Patrick Riordan.
Troopers said Hannah Brown, 14, of Micanopy, died at the scene and the 14-year-old from Hawthorne was taken to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville in critical condition. A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family of the Hawthorne teen with medical expenses. The 13-year-old from Micanopy was reportedly uninjured.
"Hannah was a very loving and caring person," said 17-year-old Micanopy Academy student Kevin Berry, who was good friends with Brown and her brother. "She kind of had a British accent. Every time I would come and pick up Steven, she would come out and wonder where we are going and I would say, 'Steven, I didn’t know you had a foreign exchange student living at your house.'"
Berry said they would joke with Brown, but only because she was a good person.
"If someone needed it, she’d be there and you could always count on her," he said. "She will be missed. I was really close to her. I even accepted her as family. I’d be there for her. She would always be there for me."
According to troopers, the driver of the truck stopped after the crash and stepped out of the vehicle, but took off west on C.R. 346 toward U.S. 441 before FHP arrived.
FHP investigators said they were able to locate the truck and the driver based on numerous tips.
Holt was booked Thursday evening into the Alachua County jail, online jail records show.