Florida trucker turns himself in on hit-and-run fatality from last year

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 11/24/2014

The driver of a tractor-trailer involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash in Florida in October 2013 has turned himself in to police.

Robert Bates turned himself in to authorities with the Florida Highway Patrol following the issue of an arrest warrant in connection with the Oct. 7, 2013, crash that killed 24-year-old Vincent T. Mathews of Lakeland, and 19-year-old Mariah A. King, of Davenport.

Bates is charged with one count of leaving the scene of a crash involving death.

The couple was traveling northbound on the Florida Turnpike near mile-marker 166 when their vehicle sustained a flat tire. They pulled off the roadway onto a paved shoulder and were attempting to change the tire when they were struck by a northbound tractor trailer.

Bates initially came forward and met with investigators in Vero Beach on Oct. 10, 2013. A news release issued by the state patrol at that time said Bates, on the advice of his attorney, did not make a statement but did reveal the location of the tractor trailer, which was recovered in the Central Florida area. Bates was not placed under arrest at that time.

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