A daughter witnessed justice in a Sumter County courtroom on Tuesday as part of a long difficult journey as the result of her 88-year-old father’s death after a 2016 hit-and-run crash.
Jacqueline Noyes of Lady Lake was in court when 34-year-old Natem Stonic was sentenced to five years in prison. He had been at the wheel of a vehicle that fled the scene of the Aug. 4, 2016 accident that severely injured Theodore Chalifoux of Parkwood Oaks in Wildwood. He died on New Year’s Day in 2017.
After the accident on the Florida Turnpike at the U.S. 301 exit at Wildwood left her father with a broken neck and other injuries, Noyes was laser-focused on the pickup that fled the scene.
Turnpike video had captured a pickup truck with front-end damage. She returned to the scene of the crash and found the Ford emblem from the damaged truck. She worked with the Florida Highway Patrol to bring Stonic to justice.
Stonic had reported that his vehicle had been damaged Aug. 4, 2016 on the Florida Turnpike in a hit-and-run accident, claiming he had been the victim. He filed a claim with his insurance company, USAA. However, Stonic had provided conflicting information, which began to arouse suspicion.
Noyes was frustrated by the many delays in the prosecution of the case. Stonic, a veteran claimed to suffer from a number of ailments and for a time was using a service dog. He changed lawyers several times. He got married. He got divorced.
Noyes watched on sentencing day as Stonic was led away in handcuffs. He was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center where he will wait until he is turned over to the Florida Department of Corrections.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Noyes said of the sentence. “It doesn’t bring back my dad.”
Her 90-year-old mother is living with her.