911 call, recorded interview played in court during fatal hit-and-run trial



MOUNT PLYMOUTH, Fla. - The trial began Monday for a man accused in a fatal hit-and-run in Lake County in December 2010.

Stephen Toner, 68, was walking his dog when he was struck and killed on Deal Road in Mount Plymouth.

Steven Pegues is charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death and driving on a suspended license. Witnesses said he stopped and looked at Toner while the man's dog howled. The witness said Pegues then drove off, leaving Toner to die.

The emotional 911 call was played in court. In it, a woman can be heard frantically telling a police dispatcher she'd just seen a hit-and-run in front of her home. The woman said she watched as the driver backed up, then drove off.

Dispatcher: “And it backed up?”

Caller: “It backed up.”

Dispatcher: “How far?”

Caller: “Just far enough to see what it had hit."

In court, detectives testified they traced the incident to Pegues. A Florida Highway Patrol investigator said he found dog fur and fiber on Pegues' pickup.

“If that did happen, I had no recollection nor was I aware that I hit a person or a dog. Then, it's just horrible that somebody died. I did not, honest to God, I did not know I hit a person,” Pegues said in a recorded interview with authorities.

“He killed my dad in December 2010. We've been waiting for justice since then,” said Toner’s daughter, Laura Grimsich.