Police say a Key West man rammed his van into the back of a truck Saturday in Marathon and kept driving, shortly after which it caught fire and halted traffic on both sides of U.S. 1.
Jorge Martinez, 28, reportedly crashed his gold mini van into the back of a red Ford Explorer around 4:40 p.m. in the northbound lane of U.S. 1 at the intersection of Coco Plum Drive Saturday, then kept driving.
After Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Shaun Lones stopped and talked to the driver of the Ford, “a gold van with heavy front-end damage with white smoke billowing out from it drove past us at the intersection of Coco Plum Drive” and continued southbound, he wrote in his report.
The van came to a stop in the middle of the intersection at the Sadowski Causeway and U.S. 1 and shortly after Martinez was detained, it reportedly caught fire, forcing both north and southbound lanes to be shut down.
Martinez told Lones he was distracted by his phone at the time of the crash and kept driving because he “was nervous and scared and did not know what to do,” according to the report.
He also told police before being taken to the Stock Island jail he had marijuana and a pipe in his underwear. The pot weighed 2.6 grams, Lones wrote, and Martinez also had a pipe with marijuana residue in it.
Martinez was handed charges for leaving the scene of an accident, possession of marijuana and paraphernalia and taken to the Stock Island jail. He was released Sunday afternoon on $10,000 bond.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219