DAYTONA BEACH, FL – The suspect responsible for a major hit-and-run crash in Deltona last month has been identified and arrested. One of the victims, a 43-year-old male passenger in the vehicle that was hit, died of his injuries. Detectives identified Demarcus “Curtis” James, 27, of Daytona Beach, as the driver of a borrowed rental car that crashed into the back of the victims’ vehicle the night of November 27 on Howland Boulevard in Deltona.
After the crash, witnesses reported the suspect abandoned the vehicle, ran away from the scene and attempted to get a ride from a stranger. When he failed to get a ride, he ran toward Deltona High School, jumped a fence and disappeared.
Left behind in the suspect vehicle were two bags of crack cocaine, a bag of powder cocaine, four large bags of marijuana, a digital scale, cell phones and a Glock handgun reported lost to Daytona Beach police earlier this year. During a K-9 track, near the outer fence of the high school, deputies also recovered an additional bag of crack cocaine and another bag of powder cocaine next to a black bag witnesses said the suspect was carrying as he ran away.
From the victims’ vehicle, the passenger with critical injuries, Kevin Roberson of Deltona, was transported to the hospital as a trauma alert in unstable condition. The driver, who is pregnant, was also transported to the hospital where she was admitted in serious, but stable condition. The couple were out driving to get something to eat when they were hit.
Roberson was unable to survive his severe injuries and died Tuesday, November 30, as the investigation continued with James already identified as the suspect.
To identify him, detectives first found the person who rented the suspect vehicle, then the person she lent it to, who then told detectives the man she lent it to was a man she recently started dating. Along with the help of witnesses and video surveillance footage, detectives positively identified James as the driver. His fingerprint was also found on a cell phone left behind in the suspect vehicle.
On December 1, detectives obtained an arrest warrant signed by a judge charging James with hit-and-run resulting in death, hit-and-run resulting in serious bodily injury, armed trafficking in cocaine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of over 20 grams of marijuana.
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement task force has been assisting in efforts to find and arrest James. He was located today in the parking lot of a Dollar General store at Nova Road and 15th Street in Holly Hill, where he was taken into custody.