A sheriff’s deputy at the scene issued a countywide alert for the stolen truck and its driver, and it wasn’t long before the suspected thief, Zachary Searls, 27, was found, authorities said.
Photo: Volusia County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Volusia County Sheriff's Office

Good Samaritan's truck stolen as he stopped to help in fiery Florida crash, officials say

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A good Samaritan stopped to help when he witnessed a fiery crash Monday night on I-95 in Volusia County, Florida.

To his surprise, one of the crashed drivers stole the good Samaritan’s truck and drove away, authorities said.

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A sheriff’s deputy at the scene issued a countywide alert for the stolen truck and its driver, and it wasn’t long before the suspected thief, Zachary Searls, 27, was found, authorities said.

Deputies ran the crashed vehicle’s tag and found an address in Daytona Beach registered to the car, investigators said. When they arrived, deputies saw the stolen truck parked in the driveway, authorities said.

Searls exited the house and walked toward the truck, but upon seeing the deputies, he turned around and went into the house, investigators said. Searls was taken into custody.

>> Click here to watch body camera video from the scene

The victim was brought to the home, where he identified Searls, authorities said. Deputies said they also spoke with Searls’ roommate, who said he had allowed Searls to borrow his father’s car.

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Searls was taken to the Volusia County Jail where he remains on $6,000 bail. He is charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a crash with injuries, not having a valid driver’s license and resisting an officer without violence.

The Florida Highway Patrol investigated the crash. Officials said the other driver involved in the crash was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach with injuries considered non-life-threatening. 

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