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School Board hopeful’s wife charged for ‘leaving the scene’ after collision

STORY BY RAY MCNULTY (Week of January 11, 2024)

School Board candidate Rob MacCallum’s wife was charged with “leaving the scene of an accident with property damage” after her pick-up truck crashed into the back end of a sports utility vehicle on State Road 60 on Dec. 30.

The Sheriff’s Office report stated that witnesses provided deputies with the truck’s license-plate number and described the vehicle as “smoking and having front-end damage” as the driver left the scene without stopping.

Colleen MacCallum, 38, was arrested at her Vero Beach home shortly after the collision, which occurred at about 4:30 p.m. near the 53rd Avenue intersection. She was booked into the County Jail two hours later and was released at about 7:45 p.m., after posting a $500 cash bond.

Her arraignment on the second-degree misdemeanor charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, is scheduled for Jan. 23 before County Judge Nicole Menz.

Reached by phone last weekend, Rob MacCallum said he didn’t want to comment on the incident because it was an “ongoing legal matter.” He said he didn’t believe it would affect his campaign.

Rob MacCallum, a political newcomer and real-estate broker who owns Exit Right Realty Florida in Vero Beach, filed in August to challenge School Board member Peggy Jones for her District 3 seat in this year’s election.

Jones, a longtime local educator, administrator and former Sebastian River High School principal, is seeking a second term.

According to the arrest affidavit filed by Sheriff’s Deputy Ethan Denniston, Ricky Vinson said he was driving his Chevrolet SUV in the center lane of eastbound Route 60 in the vicinity of 53rd Avenue, and a silver Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck was behind him.

Vinson said he was moving into the right lane when the truck “accelerated quickly,” perhaps attempting to pass him on the right. He said he wasn’t sure what the other driver was trying to do, but after the crash occurred, Vinson stopped.

The truck, however, continued down the road, he said.

Denniston reported that, upon arriving at the scene, he observed “obvious and apparent damage on the rear driver’s side” of Vinson’s SUV.

The affidavit identified two witnesses, including Filiberto Gomez Jr., a Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit special deputy, who was parked facing east when he heard the crash. He reported that, when he looked up, he did not see the driver, but he did see the truck, with front-end damage and smoking, leaving the scene.

Another witness, Alex Viesta, told Denniston he saw a “white female driver” behind the wheel of the truck, which he said “fled the area” after the crash.

Deputies traced the license-plate number to Colleen MacCallum’s home, where she was detained until Viesta arrived and “positively identified” her as the driver of the truck. She was also cited for careless driving, which carries a $148 fine.

Denniston wrote in the affidavit that Colleen MacCallum, after being informed of her Miranda rights, admitted to being in the area at the time of the accident. She said she “felt an impact, but didn’t believe she was involved in a car crash.”

She denied “intentionally fleeing,” Denniston wrote.

Denniston reported that he observed “moderate damage” – consistent with a recent automobile accident and witnesses’ statements – to the front passenger side of the truck.