On November 11, 2021, at approximately 8:15 p.m., the Florida Highway Patrol responded to a hit and run fatal traffic crash, in the interchange of Laurel Road and Interstate 75, in Sarasota County, Florida.  

During the exhaustive investigation, the Florida Highway Patrol Central Traffic Homicide Investigative Unit discovered the at-fault driver was fleeing a previous crash, before causing this fatal crash.

State Troopers located the hit and run driver (Robert Davis Knowlton), placed him under arrest for leaving the scene with death and booked him into the Sarasota County Jail. Knowlton was released on bond and fled yet again. The Florida Highway Patrol, with assistance from the US Marshalls Office, later located Knowlton at a Motel in Charlotte County and booked him back in to jail to face the criminal charges.

On January 26, 2024,  a 4-day jury trial concluded, and found Knowlton guilty on all counts:

  • FSS. 782.071(1)(a) vehicular homicide.
  • FSS. 316.027(2)(b) leaving the scene with death.
  • FSS. 322.34(6)(b) driver while license suspended causing death.
  • 316.192(3)(c)(2) reckless driving with serious bodily injuries.
  • 322.34(6)(a) driving while license suspended with serious bodily injuries.
  • 316.027 (2)(a) leaving the scene with serious bodily injuries.
  • 316.027(2) leaving the scene with property damage. (3 counts).