Man charged in Crown Point fatal hit-and-run

March 10, 2012 5:52:08 AM PST
A 42-year-old man with a previous drunken driving conviction was charged Friday for a hit-and-run that killed a corrections officer.

Jason Cozmanoff of Crown Point is in custody after turning himself in to the Lake County Sheriff's Office late Wednesday. Cozmanoff is charged with failing to stop, causing death, and failure to stop, causing injuries.

Britney Meux, 25, a mother of a five-month-old daughter, was struck and killed while jogging with fellow corrections officers Tuesday evening. Meux worked as a corrections officer for three years.

A driver in a dark blue SUV slammed into Meux and three colleagues as they were jogging by the Lake County government complex in Crown Point. The other three officers, Latasha Johnson, 34, Delano Scaife, 22 and David Murchek, 26. were injured.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said Cozmanoff's attorney contacted the Sheriff's office on Wednesday and Cozmanoff came in late Wednesday night.

Later in the day, officers impounded a vehicle meeting the description of the hit-and-run vehicle from Cozmanoff's home.

Buncich said there were mixed emotions when he informed Officer Meux's family and the other officers.

"A mixture of emotions," he said. "Sadness, relief on their part that there was a suspect in custody. A lot of concern if he was going to prosecuted. Yes, he's going to be prosecuted. There was just a whole gamut of emotions that went through that room."

Cozmanoff does have a criminal history. He was convicted of driving while intoxicated, he does have some other traffic violations. He is due in court on this case on Monday, but for now he is in the Lake County jail.

Buncich said that this case is still open, and there could still be other charges against Cozmanoff and possibly Cozmanoff's father, who Jason Cozmanoff lives with.

Visitation for Britney Meux was scheduled for Sunday with a funeral service to follow on Monday.


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