Florida Highway Patrol has cleared the man accused of leaving a woman to die along Interstate 95 after she fell off his motorcycle in Pompano Beach, his attorney says.
Miles McChesney, 36, will not likely be charged in the 2018 death of Fort Lauderdale restaurant server Jennifer St. Clair, 33, who died after she fell into traffic and passing drivers ran over her, attorney Russell Cormican said the agency told him. An FHP spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
McChesney met St. Clair on the dating app Tinder, and the pair went on their first date in Delray Beach hours before the incident, according to the attorney representing St. Clair’s parents in a still-active wrongful death lawsuit. On the drive back, St. Clair “was somehow expelled from the motorcycle and run over as many as nine times,” said Todd Falzone, the St. Clair family’s attorney.
McChesney, who visited South Florida in December 2018 shortly after his release from prison, left the scene of the incident before state troopers arrived, Cormican said. A passing motorist, who accidentally struck St. Clair with his vehicle, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel he saw a lone motorcyclist at the scene who told him, “She’s dead,” before driving off.
Highway Patrol never interviewed McChesney or requested a blood test as part of its traffic homicide investigation, Cormican said.
But late last year, he said, the lead FHP investigator in the case informed Cormican that he would close the case without recommending any criminal charges.
“He reached out to me and said that he was closing it and that he was not going to be pursuing any charges against Mr. McChesney,” Cormican told the Miami Herald.
The Sun Sentinel first reported that FHP had closed the investigation. CBS12 reported that the agency submitted its findings to prosecutors at the State Attorney’s Office late last year.
Cormican said he believed FHP investigated the case in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office in Broward County. A spokeswoman with the State Attorney’s Office told the Herald that “the case is under review,” but Cormican said he had not heard from prosecutors in several months.
“They were actively working together on the investigation,” Cormican said. “The State Attorney may say, ‘We’re leaving it open and if there’s more evidence that comes in we’ll change our mind.’ ”
Florida law requires that the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury or death provide “reasonable” assistance to the injured person, such as transportation to the hospital. But the definition of a crash is open for interpretation.
In 2016, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of a truck driver who was criminally charged for leaving the scene of a crash after his passenger fell through an open door and died. In its ruling, the court determined that Florida law defines a crash to mean an incident where a vehicle collides with another vehicle, person or object.