Sebastian Man Killed After Falling Out Of Pickup Near Capt. Hirams

SEBASTIAN – Police are investigating a possible DUI accident in which a passenger fell out of a pickup on U.S. 1 near the Captain Hirams Resort while the driver continued down the road.

A Sebastian police officer spotted the truck driving erratically at around 2:15 a.m. in the southbound lane on U.S. 1, police said. As the officer followed the pickup, he noticed a man in the roadway who had fallen out of the truck.

Tristen Schaffner was transported to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, where he died from his injuries, police Commander John Blackledge said.

Sebastian police found the driver, Greg Rooney, sitting behind the wheel of the pickup at the Whispering Palms Mobile Home Park.

Detectives learned that before Schaffner fell out of the pickup, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office was called to Rack’m Billiards in Sebastian after receiving a complaint about two men who had been drinking and were causing a disturbance, Blackledge said. The two men drove away before deputies arrived at the bar, police said.

Police have impounded the pickup for evidence as the investigation continues. No arrests have been made.

Schaffner was employed at Tiki Bar & Grill in Sebastian.

“Tristen was a fantastic employee and an even better person. He was smart with great work ethic and a big personality that everyone liked. He had a bright future ahead,” John Campbell, owner of Tiki Bar & Grill, said in a statement.

Friends expressed their sadness on Facebook Sunday night as they learned of Tristen’s death.

“I honestly don’t know if I could wrap my mind around this tragedy. Friends since elementary school. Shoot, i was with you last night. And today you’re gone. Don’t take life for granted. Tell your friends and family how much they mean to you. Love you, Tristen Schaffner. Condolences go out to the Schaffer family,” a friend of Tristen wrote on Facebook.

Services will be held this Saturday at 5 p.m. at Turtle Trail Beach.

Anyone with information about the accident should contact Officer Parker at 772-589-5233 or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 800-273-8477.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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About Scott Lee
Scott Lee is a columnist and reporter for Sebastian Daily. Scott moved to Indian River County in 2015 and has been writing for various publications for approximately 30 years. Currently, he writes part-time and manages a featured column about local businesses in Sebastian and Vero Beach.