Florida Highway Patrol arrested Courtney Adam Masterson, 42, of Lehigh Acres Saturday in connection to a deadly hit-and-run crash that happened along State Road 82 in Lehigh Friday.
Masterson pleaded not guilty to charges two counts each of Hit-and-Run: Fail to Stop and Remain at a Crash Involving a death; Fail to Stop and Remain at a Crash Involving Damage to Property.
FHP has impounded the vehicle – a red 2001 Dodge 3500 – believed to be involved in the deadly hit-and-run crash that killed mother and son, Katherine and Ronald Cujas.
New details show how the truck was identified by FHP as the possible vehicle involved.
Masterson is accused of driving a red pickup truck along SR-82 just west of Gregory Avenue and hitting both Katherine and Ronald as well as their parked trucks on the road’s shoulder and then leaving the scene of the crash. Ronald had blown a tire on his black truck, and Katherine met him along SR-82, parking her white truck on the side of the road to assist him when they were both hit by an oncoming vehicle.
The report details that the truck was identified by evidence left at the scene, which included red paint transfer, two parts of the Dodge Ram front hub cap, right side mirror, and tire marks.
A passing motorist called 911 to report the crash.
FHP says between the time of the crash and the next day, they received several tips on vehicles that may have been involved in the crash. On, November 23, a tip led investigators to Masterson.
That tip said he showed up late to work at Flagler Construction Equipment the morning of the crash, citing he had to go back home to change a blown tire. The truck was reportedly also missing a side mirror.
The tipster also said, the next day, Masterson showed up late to work again, but in a different vehicle, stating he was going to sell his truck.
FHP went to Masterson’s work Saturday where they spoke to him.
In the interview, Masterson told investigators he was on his way to work in his red pickup Friday when he crashed into a white trailer towed by a black pickup.
He said the trailer and pickup were blocking the roadway on Meadow Road and he was alone at the time of the crash.
However, the hit-and-run that killed Katherine and Ronald Cujas happened on State Road 82, not Meadow Road.
When asked why he didn’t report the crash or stay, he said his red dodge ram wasn’t registered.
When asked why he didn’t see the vehicle before hitting it he said he believed it was too dark.
Masterson went with investigators to his home where they found the red Dodge Ram. He then went to Meadow Road where he said the crash happened, but they didn’t find any evidence of a crash.
Investigators arrested Masterson and impounded the suspected red truck.
Masterson also faces a charge for Failing to Register Motor Vehicle.
FHP Lt. Greg Bueno says Masterson might face additional charges, and he said there is more work to be done in the ongoing investigation now that a suspect has been arrested and a suspected vehicle impounded. FHP is crediting an anonymous SWFL Crime Stoppers tipster for leading them to Masterson.
Masterson has been booked in to Lee County Jail without set bond.
BREAKING NEWS…Troopers have made an arrest in the hit & run fatal crash that occurred on SR 82 yesterday. Troopers have also impounded a 2001 Dodge 3500 as the suspected hit & run vehicle. The investigation is ongoing. pic.twitter.com/1AjrHl8SRC
— FHP SWFL (@FHPSWFL) November 23, 2019