Motorist hits pedestrian, drives home with body in window

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

DELEON SPRINGS, Fla. -- A motorist drove home about a mile with the legless body of a pedestrian in his front windshield before calling authorities to report that he had struck the man, officials said.

Deputies first learned of the accident, which happened about midnight Friday, from bar patrons who called to report finding two legs near the parking lot, according to sheriff's reports.

With Joseph Markert's torso lodged in his windshield, Daniel Dradeen, 19, drove a mile to the home he shared with Ronald Brownie and Brownie's son, who called 911, the reports showed.

Dradeen didn't stop to report the accident because he didn't have a cellular phone with him and Brownie's home was only about a mile from the accident site, Brownie said.

"A guy coming through your front windshield tends to rattle you," said Brownie.

Markert, 57, was trying to cross a roadway in DeLeon Springs, about 40 miles north of Orlando, when he was struck, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The medical examiner will determine if Markert survived the impact, but he likely died immediately, officials said.

Kim Miller, a spokeswoman for the patrol, said Dradeen was not impaired and no hit-and-run charges will be filed. "It's the pedestrian's fault. He was wearing dark clothing," she said.

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