Apparent drug deal gone bad leads to dragging death of 18-year-old Deltona man by fleeing motorist

VCSO: Suspect driver and vehicle located this morning, but no charges yet

Murder locale in Deltona / Headline SurferDELTONA -- An apparent drug deal in Deltona went horribly wrong late Sunday afternoon, resulting in the death of an 18-year-old man who was dragged down the street by a fleeing motorist, an official with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.

The victim was identified as Tristan De Joy, who witnesses reported walking late Sunday afternoon to the end of Sonnet Court, the same Deltona road where he lives. Next, a pickup truck was spotted driving to the end of the street, where De Joy was.

"All of a sudden, the pickup truck took off down the road at a high rate of speed, with De Joy hanging on to the exterior of the vehicle," Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said. "De Joy eventually lost his grip and tumbled to the street, sustaining critical injuries in the fall. As residents in the neighborhood called 911 to report the incident, the pickup truck kept on going and fled the scene."

Deputies have located the pickup truck and driver and early this morning were interviewing witnesses along with those directly involved in the incident. No charges had been filed, but the incident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office’s Major Case Unit., Davidson said.

Deputies began arriving at 5:10 p.m. De Joy was airlifted by a Sheriff’s Office helicopter to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, where he was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m. Deputies quickly learned that the incident apparently stemmed from a planned drug transaction, Davidson said, adding witnesses claimed that De Joy had been selling marijuana. Before he was rushed to the hospital, deputies found a small digital scale in the pocket of his pants, the Sheriff's spokesman said.

Deputies began arriving at 5:10 p.m. De Joy was airlifted by a Sheriff’s Office helicopter to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, where he was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m. Deputies quickly learned that the incident apparently stemmed from a planned drug transaction, Davidson said, adding witnesses claimed that De Joy had been selling marijuana. Before he was rushed to the hospital, deputies found a small digital scale in the pocket of his pants, the Sheriff's spokesman said.

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.