A 53-year-old Sarasota jogger was struck and killed by a drunken driver fleeing the scene of a car crash Saturday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Donna L. Chen of Sarasota was jogging along the shoulder of Midnight Pass Road in Siesta Key, when she was hit by an Altima driven by Blake C. Talman, 22, of Bradenton, investigators said.
(For more about Donna Chen's life, please read 'Donna Chen was 'thoughful, caring.')
She was found face down in the middle of Midnight Pass Road, according to the accident report.
The Florida Highway Patrol reports that Talman was driving the 2000 Nissan Altima north on Midnight Pass Road as he fled a crash scene.
"Richie Valente was the victim of the hit-and-run accident that occurred just seconds before Chen was killed.
According to Valente, he was southbound on Midnight Pass Road in his 2008 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, stopped at the light at Beach Road, when he saw Talman in his rear view mirror "screaming up behind" him."
Valente said Talman left more than 40 feet of skidmarks attempting to stop before rear-ending his pickup.
After colliding with the left rear of the truck, Valente said, Talman spun across the roadway, turned 180 degrees and fled the scene northbound until he struck Chen less than a half-mile away."
As he approached Glebe Lane, Talman apparently lost control on a left curve in the road and the vehicle veered on to the eastern shoulder. It first struck a metal pole, at about 1:10 p.m.
Talman kept driving north on the shoulder of Midnight Pass Road, and his car struck Chen, who was jogging.
Investigators say that Talman did not stop but driving, after striking Chen. His vehicle then hit landscaping and a street sign for North View Drive and Midnight Pass Road.
The car drove across North View Drive, veered to the left across Midnight Pass Road to the western shoulder, where it struck several yellow wooden poles at the entrance to , police said.
Again, the Altima did not stop but kept going north on Midnight Pass Road's shoulder, police said.
Meanwhile, another car, a 1992 Ford Escort driven by Ashley D. Mullins, 18, of Sarasota, was traveling north on Midnight Pass Road. Her car stopped just north of the church to avoid getting hit by the Altima, police said.
Yet the Altima still struck the rear corner of the Escort, causing the Altima to veer left, hitting a telephone pole, police said. The car spun around and finally came to a stop, facing south.
The Escort was also turned by the collision, and was found facing south, police said.
Talman is charged with:
- Driving Under the Influence manslaughter,
- DUI Property damage,
- DUI, Personal injury.
He also suffered serious injuries and was taken to .
Talman is being held on $121,000 in bonds — $50,000 for each DUI manslaughter charge and $21,000 in bonds racked up for the multiple property damage charges, DUI charge and hit-and-run offense, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Web site.
David J. Brewer, 24, of Sarasota, was a passenger in Talman's car and also suffered serious injuries and was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
According to a June 2010 Newsletter, Chen is a 30-year-resident of Sarasota with her husband Dr. Wellington Chen. Wellington chen was the former emergency medicine director of Venice Hospital and Doctors Hospital of Sarasota and is retired from actively practicing medicine.
The couple lived on the north end of Siesta Key for the past 15 years, according to the newsletter. They have three children, the newsletter said.
Mullins, the driver of the Escort, had minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
This article has been updated.