Family grieves for father of 2 killed in St. Elmo hit and run

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Betty Jean Mundy enlarge photo WHAT'S NEXT Betty Jean Mundy is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 2 before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Christine Sell. David Bruce, right. Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Chattanooga Times Free Press. enlarge photo Family members of David Bruce were still in shock Monday morning. The 56-year-old father of two was on his way to visit a friend Friday -- and just several blocks from his home -- when police say he was struck on his moped and killed by a woman driving an SUV. "He didn't know what hit him," said his mother, Inez Bruce, who sat in her armchair at her home Monday morning. Tears began to flow down her tired face. A family friend reached over to console her. Police told her that her son died instantly, Bruce said. He didn't suffer. Police said he was pronounced dead on the scene, becoming Chattanooga's 18th traffic fatality of the year, compared to 19 in 2011. Driver Betty Jean Mundy, 53, of Trenton, Ga., was arrested in connection with Bruce's death. Mundy told police she had consumed Xanax and muscle relaxers before she struck Bruce's moped in the 4400 block of St. Elmo Avenue. Police said she had pill bottles in her car containing hydrocodone and muscle relaxers and unidentified pills in her purse. Efforts to reach Mundy on Monday were unsuccessful. Some details of the accident are still unclear, but witnesses said the vehicle that struck Bruce around 4:30 p.m. was speeding. The impact sent Bruce's body crashing into the hood and windshield of Mundy's car, according to the report. Mundy didn't stop, police said, leaving the scene of the crash and driving on about three-fourths of a mile to 3812 Tennessee Ave., where she crashed into another vehicle. Her vehicle came to rest against the guide wire of a utility pole, according to the report. When police came upon her 2010 white Nissan Murano, they found pieces of Bruce's hair embedded in the windshield. Police said Mundy's speech was slurred and that she had trouble standing. Mundy faces one charge of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death in Hamilton County. A blood sample was taken from Mundy, and it's possible she will face more charges, police said. Mundy has no prior record, according to the Dade County, Ga., Clerk of Court. Bruce leaves behind a son and daughter. He worked at the Cummings Highway Wal-Mart, in the hardware department. Linda Bruce, his sister, said she is disappointed with the low bond set at $5,000 that allowed Mundy to go free. She said she can't imagine anyone killing her brother and leaving him there. "He was a good person," she said. "He would give you the shirt off his back." Staff writer Joy Lukachick contributed to this report. Contact staff writer Beth Burger at bburger@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6406. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/abburger.

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