A man charged in the hit-and-run death of an 88-year-old Wildwood man has checked into a VA hospital and is unavailable to appear in court in the case.
Natem James Stonic, 32, of Fruitland Park, is facing a charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving death. He has been free on $25,500 bond.
He has been charged in the Aug. 4, 2016 accident that severely injured Theodore Chalifoux of Parkwood Oaks in Wildwood. He died on New Year’s Day in 2017. The accident occurred at the U.S. 301 exit on Interstate 75.
A status conference in Stonic’s case had been set for this past Tuesday in Sumter County Court. However, one day earlier, the judge in the case received a fax from a social worker at the VA Medical Center in Gainesville.
“Mr. Natem’s discharge date is unknown but it is very likely that he will need to discharge to a skilled nursing facility for further care before he is able to return home to reside in the community,” wrote VA Social Worker Tamara Thomas.
She asked that Stonic be excused from court.
You can read a copy of the fax at VA Letter
Stonic did not suffer any documented injuries in the 2016 accident.