The City of Titusville, Florida / Police / NewsDriver Charged in Fatal Hit & RunFriday, March 13, 2015
A Titusville man, already in jail for fleeing police in a stolen car, has been formally charged with the traffic crash death of a motorcyclist killed in a hit and run crash on March 5th
THOMAS JOSEPH SCHAFFER, 24, of 880 Forest Rd Titusville, has been charged with LEAVING THE SCENE OF A CRASH INVOLVING DEATH, and numerous other charges involving multiple incidents.
On March 5th
at 8:12 p.m., a vehicle pulled onto US#1 from the Kennedy Point boat ramp just south of Cheney Hwy and into the path of a northbound Honda Motorcycle. The motorcyclist, Ralston Wade Wells, 56, of Cocoa, was killed. The driver of the vehicle that caused the crash fled the scene.
Later that evening, at 2:00 a.m. on March 6th
, Brevard County Deputies and Titusville Police attempted to stop a stolen 2013 Red Chevrolet truck on US#1 in south Titusville that had been stolen shortly after the hit & run crash. The driver of the truck, later identified as SCHAFFER, fled at a high rate of speed, actually driving through the road closure from the earlier fatality scene and nearly striking officers still working the scene.
Our officers deployed Stop Sticks, and the driver was eventually apprehended near the area of Sandra Dr Titusville. SCHAFFER continued to resist officers attempt to handcuff him after being removed from the truck. SCHAFFER was booked into Brevard Jail on numerous charges that night including AGGRAVATED ASSAULT on POLICE OFFICERS, AGGRAVATED FLEEING, DUI, and RECKLESS DRIVING (he has been in jail since).
Later that morning, the vehicle that was involved in the motorcycle fatality, a 2001 Pontiac Bonneville, was discovered abandoned near the location that the Red truck had been stolen from. A bloodhound ran a track from the abandoned vehicle, to the exact location of where the Red truck was stolen from.
Titusville Detectives have been aggressively working numerous leads on this case since the fatality. Both physical evidence and witness statements place SCHAFFER as the driver of the vehicle that struck and killed the motorcyclist and fled the scene.