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St. Johns County man accused of manslaughter in January 2020 pedestrian’s death

A 26-year-old man wanted in connection with a crash that killed a man who was walking home near Cresent Beach last News Year’s Day was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Keegan Downey was picked up by St. Augustine Beach police and booked into jail at 6:15 a.m. Deputies said Downey was driving on Costanero Road north of Crescent Beach when he hit a pedestrian walking near the road on his way home from a local restaurant. According to the report at the time, Downey stopped and tried to help the person, later identified as Richard Noak. Noak later died.

Deputies obtained a warrant to take a blood sample from Downey. Results returned in April showed his blood-alcohol level was 0.129 -- well above the legal limit to operate a vehicle. Toxicology also showed Downey had amphetamines and methamphetamines in his system at the time of the crash.

Noak is remembered in the community as a helpful, kind person. Nearby homeowners have since posted signs on their mailboxes reminding drivers of the speed limit and report speeders when they see them.

Photo of Richard Noak displayed at Back 40 A1A Restaurant, where he enjoyed many happy hours. St. Johns County deputies said was walking home from that restuarant when he was struck and killed.
Photo of Richard Noak displayed at Back 40 A1A Restaurant, where he enjoyed many happy hours. St. Johns County deputies said was walking home from that restuarant when he was struck and killed. (Special to WJXT)

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