On Thursday, January 8, 2015, PCSO Traffic deputies arrested 42-year-old Paul Marx of 1220 Holloway Road in Auburndale on a Polk County warrant charging him with one count Vehicular Homicide and one count Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Death.
According to the affidavit, around 11:20 p.m. on September 27, 2014, Marx was driving his Ford F-150 pickup truck eastbound on U.S. 92 just east of Old Dixie Hwy in Auburndale when he struck and killed a pedestrian, 52-year-old John Haney of Auburndale. Haney was walking in the grass approximately 2.8 feet off of the eastbound shoulder of U.S. 92 when Marx struck him. Evidence at the scene shows Marx’s truck traveled on the grass and off the roadway for 217 feet before striking the victim, and another 166 feet until returning back to the roadway. After hitting the victim, Marx drove home. Marx then returned to the scene of the crime around 1:00 a.m., went back home, and called PCSO.
During the initial investigation and sworn taped interviews, Marx told PCSO Traffic deputies that he knew that he struck something, but wasn’t sure what it was, so he went home, called a friend, and looked at the damage to his truck. He told deputies that he and his friend then returned to the scene to try to locate what Marx had hit. He told deputies they didn’t find anything, so he then returned home and called PCSO to report the crash. He told deputies he had been to the XYZ Lounge but had not consumed any alcoholic beverages prior to the crash. He told deputies he had two alcoholic beverages at home after the crash occurred.
After extensive investigation, including interviews with bartenders at XYZ Lounge and Chili’s and copies of receipts, deputies determined Marx consumed two drinks at each location prior to the crash. An examination of Marx’s truck revealed extensive damage to the right front quarter panel and hood – based on the damage, the driver would have seen the victim striking the hood of the truck.
On January 8, 2015, PCSO deputies obtained a warrant for Marx’s arrest with the aforementioned charges. He was arrested without incident at his home, and invoked his right to legal counsel. He was booked into the Polk County Jail where he is being held on no bond until a first appearance hearing.
“If Paul Marx had done the right thing and called for law enforcement when he crashed his truck into Mr. Haney that night, he may or may not have been charged with DUI Manslaughter, if the evidence at that time indicated he was impaired. Instead, he made a conscious decision to evade responsibility, elude authorities, and leave a critically injured victim laying on the grass. When he left the scene, he sealed his fate, and because of it he’s facing more serious charges. All citizens who are involved in a crash have a legal and moral obligation to stop and render aid, and report it to law enforcement. In this case, it might have meant the difference between life and death for the victim, and lesser or more serious charges for the suspect. Paul Marx has demonstrated a blatant disregard for human life, and the law.” – Sheriff Grady Judd