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The Villages
Friday, February 3, 2023

DUI hit-and-run suspect apprehended after crash at diner in Wildwood

Joshua Lee Burleson
Joshua Lee Burleson

A hit-and-run suspect who was reportedly intoxicated was arrested after fleeing the scene of a crash near a popular diner in Wildwood.

The crash occurred at about 5:15 p.m. Saturday near Darrell’s Diner on U.S. 301. A woman who is seven months pregnant was stopped at a red light at the intersection when she was rear-ended, according to an arrest report from the Wildwood Police Department. She started to get out of her vehicle, but the other driver sped off and drove past her. The woman suffered neck pain. There were witnesses to the crash.

A black Mazda SUV matching the description of the hit-and-run vehicle was spotted at the Pine Grove Apartments on U.S. 301. An officer noted that the driver, later identified as 37-year-old Joshua Lee Burleson of Wildwood, was “staggering,” according to the police report. The officer found that the vehicle had a “long scratch going down the driver’s side door” as well as damage to the front bumper.

Burleson struggled through field sobriety exercises and provided breath samples that registered .189 and .192 blood alcohol content.

A criminal history check revealed he had been convicted of driving under the influence in 2018 in Marion County and 2003 in Volusia County.

He was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center on charges of DUI and hit and run. Bond was set at $50,000.

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