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GOOD SAMARITAN STOPS TO AID DRIVERS IN I-95 CRASH,
GETS ‘REWARDED’ BY THIEF STEALING HIS TRUCK
VCSO Tracks Fleeing Suspect, Arrests Him
A good Samaritan who stopped to help after witnessing a fiery crash Monday night on I-95 saw his good deed answered by a bad one: One of the crashed drivers stole his truck and took off down the highway.
It wasn’t long before the suspect, 27-year-old Zachary Searls, was in the custody of Volusia County sheriff’s deputies.
A sheriff’s deputy who responded to the crash scene around 8 p.m. met with the victim and immediately issued a countywide alert for the stolen vehicle and suspect. A records check showed the blue vehicle – a 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer -- was registered at an address in Daytona Beach. Deputies went to the home to interview the owner. There, they found the stolen truck parked in the driveway.
As deputies approached the vehicle, Searls exited the house and walked toward the truck, but upon seeing the deputies, turned around and retreated into the house. Searls was taken into custody. The victim was brought to the residence where he positively identified Searls. Deputies also spoke with Searls’ roommate, who said he had allowed Searls to borrow his dad’s car.
Searls was transported to the Volusia County Jail where he remains on $6,000 bail. He is charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a crash with injuries, no valid driver’s license and resisting an officer without violence.
The Florida Highway Patrol investigated the crash itself, and the other driver involved was transported to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach with injuries considered non-life-threatening.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151