Elizabeth McKee MUG

Elizabeth McKee

A Floral City woman was jailed Thursday afternoon in connection to a hit-and-run crash earlier this week that critically injured Jarrett Suydam as he was walking along an Inverness road.

The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) arrested and charged 65-year-old Elizabeth Rose McKee with a third-degree felony count of leaving the scene of the March 10 collision with 24-year-old Suydam, who was transported to Ocala Regional Hospital by Nature Coast EMS.

At around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, McKee and her passenger, 66-year-old Brian McKee, also of Floral City, were traveling south on Washington Avenue in a blue Chevy Silverado, south of the intersection with State Road 44, an FHP crash report shows.

Suydam, of Inverness, was walking on the west shoulder of Washington Avenue, roughly 5 feet to 7 feet from the roadway. Suydam was walking that day because the motorcycle he usually used to get home from his job at the Family Dollar store in Inverness had a flat tire.

Jarrett Suydam

Jarrett Suydam, 24, was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident Sunday, March 10, in Inverness. Because of the severity of his injuries, he faces many months of recovery.

For unknown reasons, McKee lost control of her truck, which went off the road and struck Suydam, according to the crash report.

McKee drove away, but witnesses were able to get a description of her truck. Emergency responders transported Suydam to Ocala Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries, which were critical.

On Monday, McKee contacted police, her arrest report shows. An FHP interviewed McKee at her house Thursday. While there, the trooper saw damage to her 2008 Silverado consistent with the hit-and-run incident that occurred Sunday.

McKee told the trooper she thought she struck a deer but decided not to stop and check, adding she chose to report the crash to authorities the following day, according to McKee’s arrest report.

The trooper told McKee that even if she hit a deer, she should've still remained at the scene because it was a crash. McKee was transported to the Citrus County jail, where she was held on a $2,000.

Suydam was upgraded to stable condition by Tuesday afternoon, according to prior reports. His family has started a GoFundMe page to help offset medical costs.

As of Friday morning, people have donated $2,700 toward the family's $10,000 goal.

Contact Chronicle reporter Buster Thompson at 352-564-2916 or bthompson@chronicleonline.com.


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