Driver speeds through fatal crash investigation in Martin County - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Driver speeds through fatal crash investigation in Martin County, caught after chase


PALM CITY, Fla. - A Martin County man was arrested Sunday after officials said he drove through a traffic homicide investigation at excessive speeds, then rammed a sheriff's vehicle. 

Johnathan Eckerd, 25, said he recklessly sped through Martin Downs Boulevard, where troopers were investigating the fatal crash from earlier Sunday night.

Investigators said the truck Eckerd was blew past them at a high rate of speed, jumped the curb and went around a Martin County deputy, who was also working the crash scene.

The sheriff's office said Eckerd then took off southbound on Florida's Turnpike.

Multiple law enforcement officers attempted to slow him down, but Ekerd rammed a lieutenant's sport-utility vehicle twice. The lieutenant was eventually able to stop the truck, and Eckerd was arrested.

The lieutenant was not injured.

Eckerd has been charged with aggravated assault with a vehicle on a law enforcement officer and aggravated fleeing and eluding.

Earlier fatal crash

The homicide investigation at the scene was for a fatal crash earlier Sunday night that killed one person and injured another on Martin Downs Boulevard.

Troopers said a car with three people inside was heading east when the driver crossed the center line and hit a palm tree.

Investigators said one of the passengers was thrown from the vehicle and died, but the driver, identified as Mynor Chavez Lopez, kept driving for 5 miles before crashing into a driveway and another car on Southwest Riverway Boulevard.

Lopez faces charges of DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of a crash and no driver’s license involving a death.

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