FHP seeking witness/additional info on hit and run

On Wednesday, October 24, at 6:50 p.m. a 1997 Ford F150 driven by John Goedtke, age 37 of Thonotosassa, FL, was involved in an accident on State Road 77 and Talton Drive in Washington County that resulted in three fatalities.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, the truck and a U-Haul trailer were traveling northbound on SR 77. Three power company employees were working on the power poles off of SR 77 and Talton Drive on the east shoulder.

The truck began to travel in a northeastern direction and began to travel on the eastern grass shoulder of SR 77. The vehicle continued traveling on the eastern shoulder, and traveled across Talton Drive and the vehicle’s front collided with three pedestrians.

The truck continued traveling in a northern direction on the shoulder and came to final rest in the eastern ditch facing in a northern direction, and the trailer came to final rest behind the vehicle facing in a northwestern direction.

The driver then fled the scene and was later found and detained by Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Goedtke was then arrested by troopers and transported to the Washington County Jail.

The three pedestrians receiving fatal injuries were:

  • George Cesil, age 52, of Cole Rain, NC, employed by Lee Electric Construction Inc.
  • James Ussery, age 60, of Chipley, employed by West Florida Electric Cooperative.
  • Ryan Barrett, age 22, of Roanoke Rapids, NC, employed by Lee Electric Construction Inc.

Goedtke has been charged with Felony DUI Manslaughter, Felony Vehicular Homicide, and Felony Leaving the Scene. Additional charges are pending.

Florida Highway Patrol investigators are currently seeking anyone that may have witnessed or who may have additional information about this crash. Please call Sgt. Michael Collins at 850-471-6924, cell: 850-499-6391, or MichaelCollins@flhsmv.gov.