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Former FAMU Band Leader Strikes Deal in Hit and Run Case

A deal, worked out last week, will allow the band leader to perform community service instead of facing felony charges for a hit and run accident.

Eighty-year-old Mickey Safford was struck by a car last August as he crossed the street near the Leon County Library. The white Cadillac that hit him kept on going.

Mickey says, "I didn't believe anybody could hit anybody and keep on going."

It turns out the man behind the wheel was Dr. William Foster, longtime director of FAMU's Marching 100, who was later arrested on felony charges for leaving the scene. Now, a deal will allow the 85-year-old former band leader to have those charges dropped in return for six months of community service.

Daryl Parks, Foster's attorney, says, "Dr. Foster was remorseful that this situation ever happened and certainly apologized to Mr. Safford, and they were able to come to a general understanding, which was great, so that two adult people could put this behind them."

The deal signed off by assistant state attorney Warren Goodwin includes the revocation of Foster's driver’s license unless he can prove to a state board that he can see well enough to drive, and it requires Foster to do community service work with elderly drivers.

If he complies, charges will be dropped in September.

Sue Safford, the victim's wife, says, "He's had a lot of complications."

As for Mickey Safford, he's out of rehab and home now. His wife says he is walking again with a knee brace and a fair share of pain. She says Foster finally gave her husband the apology he wanted and perhaps this ended as it should.

More than anything, Mrs. Safford hopes this story will make elderly drivers and their families think twice about their ability to drive as they age.


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