Venice man charged in connection with fatal hit and run in downtown Sarasota

kirby@bradenton.comMay 27, 2014 

Curt Lee Rud

SARASOTA -- Police arrested and charged a man with leaving the scene of a crash with death after he crashed head-on into another vehicle early Saturday in downtown Sarasota, causing one death and several injuries, according to police.

Curt Lee Rud, 29, was driving a 2008 Dodge Avenger around 2 a.m. near the intersection of Main Street and Bayfront Drive in Sarasota when he drove his vehicle southbound into the northbound lanes, according to a report. He hit a taxi owned by Yellow Cab head on that had five people inside. Rud fled the scene on foot but was caught by police at 3:17 a.m.

Two individuals from the taxi were flown to Blake Medical Center for life threatening injuries, police said. James M. Elias of Acushnet, Mass., 52, died from his injuries around 5 a.m. Saturday. Everyone else in the vehicle, including the other individual who was transported to Blake, are reportedly in stable condition.

Officers evaluated Rud for driving under the influence but found no signs of impairment.

Rud was charged with a felony for leaving the scene of a crash with death and driving with a suspended license with knowledge in connection to a vehicle crash, police said.

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