It is a succession of events as bizarre as it proved nearly fatal for a man this morning before dawn on Sesame Boulevard.
Three young Palm Coast men — Conner Patrick Anderson, 22, Ronald Lewis Stedman, 20, and the victim, Angel Martinez, 20–had been partying the night before, drinking in the F Section, at the Ice House and at another bar in Flagler Beach, according to statements made to a Florida Highway Patrol homicide investigator.
Early this morning, well before sunrise, the three men were driving south toward Integra Woods apartments on Sesame Boulevard, where one of the three men lived. Martinez allegedly got “belligerent,” the other witnesses told the FHP investigator. There was an argument or a struggle, and the two other men decided to either get Martinez out of the truck or put him in the bed of the truck–a dark gray Chevy Silverado pick-up.
“The guy was inside the truck and he started acting out so that’s why he put him out,” the FHP investigator said, referring to Stedman, the driver, putting the victim in the bed of the truck.
Here the stories diverge. Stedman did not tell the investigator what Anderson told him: that first, Stedman and Anderson put Martinez on the sidewalk, where the victim apparently went to sleep. The two other men then drove off, returned, found Martinez sleeping, and decided to put him in the bed of the truck before driving south again. (Stedman told the investigator that they immediately put the victim in the bed of the truck and drove south.)
Then they got to Integra Woods. Martinez was no longer in the truck.
He had either fallen or jumped out of the truck at the mid-point between Sesame Boulevard and Citation Parkway. Then two vehicles struck or ran over him–a white Ford Explorer, whose driver, Eric Jones, immediately attempted to stop additional traffic from striking the victim, then a Mitsubishi Eclipse driven by William Kroll Jr.
Stedman and Anderson returned to the scene and eventually stopped the Silverado, facing south in the southbound lane, six feet ahead of where Martinez had been struck.
Several units from the Flagler County Sheriff’s office were on scene. Initially, Volusia County Air One, the emergency helicopter, was called to the scene, but the call had to be canceled because of fog. Martinez was transported by ground to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach. He was in critical condition.
The matter was called in to authorities at 5:58 a.m. FHP was at the scene within minutes as was Flagler County Fire Rescue. Seminole Woods Boulevard was closed in both directions from Sesame Boulevard to Citation (a loop). As of 8:20 a.m., the road was still closed and the investigation ongoing.
Ten orange cones had been placed along a stretch of some 25 yards in the southbound lane of Seminole Woods Boulevard, each cone marking a belonging to the victim that had scattered after he had either fallen or been struck–a black garment by the side of the road, a few business cards, including one from an officer of the court in Flagler County, a set of keys, and at the southmost end of the items, a broken beer bottle. The victim’s blood had marked the pavement in four spots.
The investigation ended at 8:45 a.m. Saxon’s towing of Bunnell took the Silverado, which will be impounded as the broader investigation continues. The road was reopened at 9 a.m.