The Midway Fire District released a statement that said Secondine “has been placed on administrative leave pending further review.”
NAVARRE BEACH — Midway Fire District firefighter Brayton Cale Secondine of Milton was arrested Thursday on felony hit-and-run charges in connection with a fatal accident in August of 2018.
According to news accounts, Secondine drove into a woman who had fallen onto the Navarre Beach Causeway. She later died at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.
The accident occurred when 38-year-old Jeanette Martinez fell off a moving 2011 Nissan Armada about 2:29 a.m. in 2018. She was struck by a red Chevrolet Camaro a few minutes later, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.
FHP homicide investigators conducted an extensive investigation and filed a warrant for Secondine's arrest Wednesday. The 26-year-old Secondine surrendered himself to officials at the Santa Rosa County Jail Thursday and was released on $50,000 bond.
FHP spokesman Lt. Robert Cannon said normally such cases typically take three to six months to solve. The accident happened early Sunday morning and by Thursday night FHP said they had located the vehicle that left the scene.
“(The investigators) had information for a while but had to build a case enough for a probable charge,” Cannon said. “It is difficult. They had to locate witnesses that put him behind the wheel.”
The Midway Fire District released a statement that said Secondine “has been placed on administrative leave pending further review.” The Midway administration did not return a Daily News inquiry about how long Secondine worked there.
At the time of the Aug. 19, 2018 hit-and-run, FHP reported that 37-year-old Pedro Martinez Jr. was driving his SUV, while passengers Amber Morin and Jeanette Martinez were riding on the exterior of the vehicle.
All three people in the Armada were from Houston and under the influence of alcohol, the FHP reported. Pedro Martinez was charged with DUI causing serious bodily injury or death.
Witnesses said Secondine was drinking beers or whiskeys at Juana's Pagoda with friends before leaving the Navarre Beach establishment.
The FHP warrant for Secondine's arrest said his father advised him to turn himself in.
However, according to his friend, Riley Neal, Secondine said that he felt a bump but didn't feel it was that bad. Neal said he never told Secondine to turn himself in and never talked about the accident because he did not want to get involved. Several other witnesses on the causeway at that time described seeing the car run over Martinez.
Among the evidence, an autopsy conducted on Martinez found a tire mark across her midsection that matched the wheels on Secondine's Camaro, the FHP reported.