LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Please enter your comment! Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter TAGSRichard Anderson Previous articleFisher Plantation Annexation votes are due todayNext articleDemings’ Townhall is tonight at City Hall Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 Please enter your name here Renee Falcon: “It doesn’t seem there was any justice at all”Richard Anderson stood quietly by his attorney in a Lake County courtroom this morning as his plea agreement was read into the record. It was a sentence that did not please Micheal Falcon or his family.Richard AndersonAnderson was charged with leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, reckless driving with serious bodily injury, and reckless driving with property damage. All of the charges are third-degree felonies, which in Florida has a maximum punishment of five years in prison, five years probation, and a $5,000 fine per count.However, the State Attorney dropped the charges of reckless driving with serious bodily injury and reckless driving with property damage because they could not prove Anderson was driving his vehicle at the time of the crash.According to the agreement, Anderson pled no contest (nolo contendre) to leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury which he received a sentence of three years probation, and leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, which he received a sentence of six months probation. Both sentences will run concurrently, and adjudication was withheld in both charges which means Anderson will not have a felony record from these charges if he completes his probation successfully. Anderson’s driver’s license was also suspended for three years, but he can apply for reinstatement upon completion of an impact panel or completion of a department-approved driver improvement program. He may also apply for early termination of probation after successful completion of half the period of probation.At approximately 1:20 am on April 5th of 2016, Falcon responded to an alarm at his workplace. He got into his 2007 Toyota Corolla and headed towards the Seminole County wastewater treatment facility where he is a supervisor. He turned onto SR46 in Lake County from 46A and shortly after was struck head-on by a 2014 Dodge Ram going 45 miles-per-hour, according to a memo written by Assistant State Attorney Emily Currington.The 2014 Dodge Ram was owned by Richard Anderson, the former City Administrator of Apopka.The verdict both shocked and angered Falcon’s family.Anderson’s 2014 Dodge Ram (pictured in feature photo) slammed head-on into Falcon’s 2007 Toyota Corolla.“It doesn’t seem there was any justice at all,” said Renee Falcon, Falcon’s former wife. “It’s nothing. Probation is nothing. What message does it send to the community?”Before the verdict was read, two of Falcon’s six children asked the court to give Anderson a harsh sentence.Falcon’s daughter, Heather, 24, read a statement on behalf of the family that described the injuries her father suffered, which included a concussion, a punctured lung, a fractured sternum, three herniated discs, a broken hand and two broken wrists.“He (Falcon) pried himself from his car in pain,” she said. “In fear he would die on the highway… while Anderson paced on the phone near his truck. It was cruel and the fact that Anderson was a licensed paramedic was an extra slap in the face. Mr. Anderson’s actions should not be taken lightly. It’s should not be okay to leave the scene of an accident.”Amber Falcon, 17, echoed her sister’s thoughts.“As my father lay bleeding on the ground he (Anderson) walked away – a trained paramedic. The anniversary of this tragic event has passed, but not the memories. I pray Anderson has reflected on his actions. People are watching. I ask today that Anderson be punished.”According to Currington’s memo that explains the State’s reason for accepting the plea, accident reconstruction expert Christopher Stewart concluded there were two people in Anderson’s truck at the time of the crash. Currington writes:“On March 17, 2017, the deposition of Christopher Stewart, listed by the defense as an expert witness, was conducted. Stewart is an engineer with extensive training in accident reconstruction. Stewart testified that in October 2016 he examined the Dodge Ram truck at a salvage yard in Sanford. He conducted a visual inspection of the vehicle and downloaded the data contained on the event data recorder in the vehicle. Stewart concluded that both front seats of the Ram were occupied at the time of the crash. Airbags and knee bolsters on both the driver and passenger sides of the vehicles deployed. The seat belts pretensions on both sides of the vehicle were engaged, which is indicative that both seats were occupied at the time of the crash. The glove compartment was broken apart and separated from the dashboard, which is indicative of an impact. The windshield on the passenger side of the vehicle is broken. Stewart also concluded the Ram was traveling westbound in the eastbound lane of travel. He testified the point of impact was completely across the center line when it struck the Corolla at approximately 45 miles per hour.”Because of Stewart’s testimony, Currington says the State could not prove Anderson was behind the wheel.“The State is unable to rebut the testimony of Christopher Stewart that there was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the crash,” she writes. “There were no witnesses to the crash, and none of the motorists who stopped shortly after the crash saw Anderson behind the wheel of the Dodge Ram. Accordingly, the State is unable to prove beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt Anderson was driving the Dodge Ram at the time of the crash. The State is unable to rebut a reasonable hypothesis of innocence that Anderson was not the driver but rather the passenger in his truck at the time of the crash. Thus there is no factual basis for the crimes of Reckless Driving Causing Serious Bodily Injury and Reckless Driving Causing Property Damage. Accordingly, a nolle prosequi will be filed as to Counts II and IV of the Information.”Currington also stated that investigators from the Florida Highway Patrol took no photos of the vehicles at any point after the crash, did not examine the event data recorder, and did not collect or submit DNA analysis from the airbags.The memo also stated that “no one witnessed the accident occur but several passing motorists saw the aftermath of the crash and stopped to render assistance. These witnesses did not see either driver exit their respective vehicle. Falcon was located on the side of the road near the entrance to Rock Springs Run State Reserve. A white male was reported to have been walking around the scene and near the Dodge Ram truck. The white male later left the scene without speaking to law enforcement.”Also from Curington’s memo were FHP’s interviews with witnesses at the scene of the crash.FHP Trooper Gregory Reed of the Florida Highway Patrol responded to the crash scene and conducted the initial investigation. Reed found the driver’s door of the Dodge Ram to be open when he arrived. A firearm was in the driver’s door pocket in plain view. Reed seized the firearm and placed it into evidence. He then arranged for the vehicles to be towed from the scene.FHP Trooper Joshua Evans conducted the investigation into the hit and run portion of the crash. Evans met with the three witnesses who stopped to render aid after the crash. Janae Okonewski was on her way home from work as a server at Gator’s Dockside in Lake Mary. She had a first aid kit in her vehicle and stopped to help Falcon. Okonewski said she saw a white male standing near the Dodge Ram. She described him as being between the door and the interior of the truck on the driver’s side, reaching into the vehicle. Okonewski positively identified Richard Anderson in a photo lineup as the person she saw outside the Dodge Ram.Evans interviewed Edwin Vasquez. Vasquez said he called 911 to report the crash. He said while he was on the phone with them, an older white male approached him. He described the male as “an older white male with white hair and a facial scrub who resembled Colonel Sanders”. Evans interviewed Matthew Moore, who arrived at the crash scene shortly after the crash occurred. Moore said he saw a man standing by the open driver’s door of the Dodge Ram. Moore said while he was on the phone with 911 the male approached him and asked, “What road is this?” Moore identified Richard Anderson in a photo lineup as the person he saw standing between the open driver’s door and the body of the Dodge Ram.Evans interviewed Matthew Moore, who arrived at the crash scene shortly after the crash occurred. Moore said he saw a man standing by the open driver’s door of the Dodge Ram. Moore said while he was on the phone with 911 the male approached him and asked, “What road is this?”Phone records indicated one of the phones belonging to Richard Anderson was used around the time of the crash to make multiple calls. Ten calls were placed between 1:25 am and 1:57 am on April 5, 2016. The majority of the calls were placed to attorneys Nicole Guillet and Frank Kruppenbacher. Both have claimed attorney-client privilege as it pertains to the content of any conversation with Anderson. Anderson did not make a 911 call at the time of the crash, according to phone records.Guillet, worked with Anderson in Apopka as deputy chief administrative officer and community development director for the city of Apopka while Anderson was City Administrator. She is currently the County Manager of Seminole County.Kruppenbacher, is a lawyer with Morgan and Morgan, who was the Apopka City Attorney while Anderson was City Administrator. You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.