Teen killed by hit-and-run driver in Volusia Co.

- Florida Highway Patrol troopers arrested a man they said hit and killed an 18-year-old on a moped early Sunday morning.  Troopers said Craig Howitt, 39, was taken into custody after allegedly hitting Nicholas Eason while he was riding a moped, then taking off.
 
The accident happened around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday at U.S. Highway 92 and Marsh Road in Volusia County.  Troopers said Eason was driving westbound on U.S. Highway 92 on a moped, when Howitt came up behind him, driving a Nissan XTerra.

According to the report, Howitt hit Eason from behind and Eason was pulled onto the hood of the SUV while Howitt continued to drive.  After several hundred yards, Eason was thrown from the hood. Howitt then veered onto the median and hit a sign, troopers said.
 
Howitt then took off and was spotted by a DeLand police officer about two miles from the scene of the crash, troopers said. 

“He said, “I love you, Mom, I’m going to go back to work, I’ll see you tonight,'” explained Tina Eason.  She said those were the last words her son ever spoke to her, as he left for his new job at Skydive DeLand.
 
Howitt was taken to the Volusia County Jail and booked on charges of DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal crash.  According to records, Howitt has a prior history of DUI charges. 

“I don’t know how people who are convicted of drunk driving can drive again. He murdered my son and then he left him there to die,” Eason said. 

Because of Howitt's criminal history, and the nature of the new charges, a judge ordered that he remain in the jail without bond.   

“I don’t know if there’s enough jail time. I want him to relive this over and over. I want him to know my sorrow and my pain,” said a tearful Eason.  “I want this man to know my loss. I don’t know how to bury my son. I don’t know how to bury my son."

Eason was a baseball player at DeLand High School and the youngest of four children.  His family said Eason was also an organ donor.  His funeral is scheduled for Friday. 

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