ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A war hero was killed on the streets of Central Florida early Friday morning. The man, who'd been to Iraq three times, was hit by an accused drunk driver on County Road 419 near Chuluota (see map). The Deltona man had most recently been working as a corrections officer.
AT THE SCENE: Motorcyclist Killed In Collision With Car
Jason Russo, 38, had just begun his drive home from work as a corrections officer in Orlando when he was hit and killed by a repeat drunk driver. Russo was a decorated soldier in Iraq and a first responder to the Pentagon on 9/11, but investigators say it was a drunk driver who killed him.
Russo's brother and family can't believe it. He was riding his motorcycle home from his job as a corrections officer at the Central Florida Reception Center when 28-year-old Okevin Moradian suddenly turned in front of him. The crash threw Russo from his bike, killing him, even though he was wearing a helmet.
"There's nothing that's going to get my brother back, but he shouldn't have been taken away in the first place," Josh Russo said.
Troopers say Moradian was drunk and, even though he refused a breathalyzer test, WFTV found out it's his third DUI arrest and second in less than a year.
"Once is a mistake, twice, three times, how many more times does it take to get them off the road?" Josh Russo questioned.
No one was home at Moradian's house Friday, just a third of a mile from the scene of the crash, but WFTV found a recycle bin full of beer and liquor bottles.
Now, Russo's family is struggling to say goodbye to a man who they just welcomed home.
"In the past year, the brothers finally came together. We finally had an opportunity to reconnect and now he's been taken away," Josh Russo said.
WFTV has not been able to confirm if the previous DUI arrests led to convictions. Moradian is being held on no bond because of a probation violation out of Seminole County.