Belle Isle interim city manager, Apopka consultant and lobbyist Richard Anderson turned himself in to authorities yesterday after he was charged with a hit-and-run case that hospitalized another driver back in April.
The Florida Highway Patrol investigated the Lake County collision and issued an arrest warrant for Anderson Tuesday.
Anderson turned himself in to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office out of convenience Tuesday afternoon. That department held him in the Seminole County jail overnight pending transfer to Lake County.
Anderson also resigned Tuesday from his part-time position as Belle Isle’s interim city manager. Mayor Lydia Pisano said she accepted his resignation.
Anderson worked for the city of Apopka, where he stepped down as full-time city administrator in 2014, after Joe Kilsheimer beat longtime incumbent John Land in the mayoral election. However, Anderson took a two-year contract that paid him $22,000 per month as a consultant with Apopka to continue working on several projects for the city.
The Apopka City Council will be looking into his contract status.
Anderson is charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries from an April 5 automobile crash on State Road 46 near Sorrento. Five charges were filed against him: leaving the scene with serious bodily injury, reckless driving with serious bodily injury, tampering with physical evidence, leaving the scene with property damage and reckless driving with property damage.
According to the FHP, shortly before 1:30 a.m. a 2014 Dodge Ram pickup truck crossed into the opposing lane and slammed head-on into a Toyota Corolla. The driver of the Corolla suffered debilitating injuries and was airlifted to a hospital.
Witnesses told the highway patrol they found the injured driver of the Corolla laying on the ground and another man talking on a cellphone. The second man had left before the FHP arrived. Two of the witnesses later identified Anderson, the owner of the abandoned truck, from photo lineups, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Anderson is the former full-time city administrator of Apopka. He had been with the town for 40 years, starting as a paramedic, working himself up to fire chief, and then becoming the city’s chief administrative officer in late 2004. He retired Sept. 17, 2014, and signed the consulting contract, chiefly to work on the city’s city center project.
He had become interim city manager in Belle Isle after the previous city manager resigned on Jan. 5.
Drivers fleeing the scene of an auto accident are actually quite common occurrences. Sadly, hit-and-run accidents may leave a victim with serious and life-threatening injuries, and in some cases, death. Injury victims and their families are often left wondering what their rights are, especially if the careless driver has not been identified.