The determined daughter of an 88-year-old Wildwood man who was the victim of a hit-and-run accident helped hunt down the man believed to be responsible for her father’s injuries.
Jacqueline Chalifoux, 60, of Lady Lake has been caring for her father since the crash on Aug. 4 on the Florida Turnpike at the U.S. 301 exit at Wildwood.
Her father, Theodore Chalifoux of Parkwood Oaks in Wildwood, suffered a broken neck and numerous broken bones in the accident. The pickup truck that hit her father’s vehicle kept going.
With her father in the hospital, the Leesburg hairdresser worked with FHP to keep the search for the hit-and-run driver alive. Turnpike video had captured a pickup truck with front-end damage. Jacqueline Chalifoux returned to the scene of the crash and found the Ford emblem from the damaged pickup truck.
It took more time and investigation, but FHP made an arrest in the case on Tuesday.
Natem James Stonic, 30, had reported that his vehicle had been damaged Aug. 4 on the Florida Turnpike in a hit-and-run accident. He filed a claim with his insurance company, USAA. However, Stonic had provided conflicting information, according to an an arrest report from FHP.
He was arrested on felony charges of insurance fraud, larceny and tampering with evidence. More charges are possible.
He was booked on $6,000 bond at the Lake County Jail.
Jacqueline Chalifoux is now caring for her father at her home in Lady Lake. He still has a feeding tube, but is making progress, according to his daughter.