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$2 million settlement reached after hit-and-run crash kills couple in New Smyrna Beach

By Kevin P. Connolly, Orlando Sentinel
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

April 12--A $2 million settlement has been reached with the insurance company for a man accused in a double-fatal, hit-and-run crash on State Road 44 in New Smyrna Beach last year.

Luis Gracia, a partner in the Port Orange-based law firm of Rue, Ziffra & Caldwell, recently won the settlement in the crash that killed Zachary Tyler Kahle, 24, and his girlfriend, Savannah Jo Dejarnette, 26, both of Oak Hill, on Aug. 6, a statement Saturday said.

They were struck by a plumbing van driven by Brian Dale Kennedy, 37, of Edgewater, as they walked along S.R. 44 just east of Sugar Mill Drive, records show.

Kennedy, who has a long list of traffic infractions, told authorities he thought he had hit a deer.

The front end of his work van was smashed, a headlight was broken and the windshield was shattered and had a hole in it.

Kennedy was arrested on charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and driving with a suspended license.

Kahle and Dejarnette were on foot after abandoning her older-model Buick on Interstate 95.

They were thrown about 200 feet after the crash.

They were left in the grass along the shoulder of the road.

A man riding a scooter later spotted their bodies.

The insurance company that covered Kennedy paid its policy limits of $2 million to resolve the entire case, said Gracia, who represented the estate of Zachary Kahle.

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(c)2014 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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