NewsPasco County


Driver caught after fatal hit-and-run in Pasco

Family mourns victim
Posted at 3:48 PM, Dec 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-01 17:39:39-05

HUDSON, Fla. -- Rhonda Smith showed up Friday morning at the place where just hours earlier, her nephew died in a vicious crash.

“I just had to come and see for myself. I couldn’t come last night. So I came this morning,” she said.

Joey Barnes was riding his bike across State Road 52 and Chicago Avenue Friday around 2:30 p.m.

That’s when investigators say a Chevy Truck driven by Garret Juhler-Robbins ran a red light and smashed into the father of two.

His step-mother says she’d just seem him a couple hours earlier.

“All his contents of his back-up was all over this side of 52. And he was way up the street on the other side of 52,” said Dorothy Bowes.

The Florida Highway Patrol says Juhler-Robbins didn’t stop after the crash. 

But Pasco deputies got him a couple miles down the road.

“What’s going on? You drinking?” a deputy is heard asking Juhler-Robbins in body worn camera video.

“I was earlier yes sir,” he answered.

“You can run but you can’t hide. They got him. Thank God they did; one less driver on the road drinking alcohol and causing someone's death,” said Smith.

This crash comes just six weeks after another deadly hit-and-run in Hudson, where a 19-year-old was killed.

The driver who hit him hasn’t been caught.

Barnes’ family says he moved here from North Carolina, and after some legal troubles, he was trying to turn his life around.

“He was finally on the right track, trying to do the right thing. And then this happens,” said Bowes.

Juhler-Robbins, who was arrested for DUI in California 7 years ago, is now charged with DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene.

Meanwhile, family members will have to plan a funeral.

“I’ll miss him. I love him very much,” said Smith.