Saturday, June 15, 2024

Suspect Arrested in Clearwater Hit-and-Run Incident Resulting in Pedestrian Fatality

In the early hours of Saturday, July 15, 2023, a pedestrian was fatally struck in a hit-and-run incident near Druid Road and Missouri Avenue in Clearwater. Clearwater Police and Clearwater Fire & Rescue swiftly responded to the scene following reports of the crash. The incident occurred at approximately 12:40 a.m.

Upon arrival, first responders discovered 34-year-old Joshua Maxson, who died from his injuries at the scene.

In the immediate aftermath, investigators found crucial evidence that led them to identify the type of vehicle involved in the hit-and-run swiftly. According to law enforcement officials, vehicle parts scattered near the crash site were determined to belong to a dark-colored Toyota SUV. Armed with this information, officers commenced a search for the driver responsible.

Booking photo of Christian Hooks

Approximately a mile from the scene, in the 1000 block of Waverly Way, officers successfully located the suspect vehicle and driver. The suspected driver, identified as 22-year-old Christian Hooks, was taken into custody without incident.

Now facing severe legal repercussions, Hooks was arrested for Leaving the scene of a crash involving a death and DUI manslaughter. According to Clearwater Police, his two breath samples showed alcohol levels of .217 and .223. These levels are nearly three times the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle. His speed at the collision is estimated to be 65 mph in a posted 40 mph zone.

Hooks was traveling northbound on Missouri Avenue in the curb lane. Maxson was crossing Missouri Avenue just south of the intersection with Druid Road. Maxson was struck and entrapped in the windshield for approximately 150 ft and ended up in the turn lane to travel east on Druid Road.

Following his arrest, Christian Hooks was transported to the Pinellas County Jail, where he was booked shortly before 5 a.m. He awaits further legal proceedings while the investigation continues to unfold.

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