Man charged with DUI in hit-and-run that injured 3 kids

By Jason Lanning , Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, December 28, 2017, 10:34 AM EST

A 63-year-old man has been charged in a hit-and-run in Sun City that hospitalized three children Wednesday night. 

  • Hit-and-run crash on I-75 near Sun City Center
  • 3 children, ages 10, 8 and 6 injured
  • Driver that caused crash drove off, abandoned vehicle

Billy Noel Catherwood was arrested by FHP Wednesday night in Manatee County on charges of DUI and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries. 

The crash occurred after 8 p.m. on the southbound side of I-75 near the Ruskin, Sun City Center exit. 

Investigators said a pickup truck was speeding down the highway and hit a Ford Explorer from behind, causing it to veer off into the median and roll over. 

Inside the Ford were a father and his three children. The 8-year-old in the front seat was wearing a seat belt while the two children in the back, 10 and 6, were not wearing seat belts.

The 6-year-old was ejected from the vehicle and remains in critical condition Tampa General Hospital. The other two children were also rushed to TGH and are in serious condition. 

Troopers said the pickup truck took off after the crash and was found abandoned a short distance away. 

Catherwood was taken into custody overnight. Officials said Catherwood has had two previous DUI's, according to his criminal record.