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Man killed pushing pickup on on CR 486

A 21-year-old Florida Atlantic University student visiting his parents in Homosassa was killed just after midnight Thursday when an SUV struck him from behind at County Road 486 and Betty Point. He was pushing the pickup truck he rode in after it ran out of gas.

Jeremy Brunsik of Homosassa was pronounced dead at the scene, said Citrus County sheriff's spokeswoman Gail Tierney.

Brunsik had been traveling east on CR 486 with his girlfriend from Lecanto, Alexis Ellis, and his college roommate at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, Jeffrey Green, who also was visiting Brunsik's family. The ages of Ellis and Green were not known Friday afternoon.

When their 1998 Ford Ranger ran out of gas, the two roommates got out and pushed it from the back in an eastbound lane while Ellis steered, Tierney said.

"Where exactly they were pushing it to, I'm not sure," she said.

Meanwhile, Michelle Harlow, 35, of Beverly Hills also was driving east on CR 486, Tierney said. Harlow did not see the three with the pickup truck and hit the truck and Brunsik from behind with a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Both Harlow and Green of Plantation were taken to Citrus Memorial Hospital, where they were treated and released. Tierney said both did not appear to be seriously injured. Ellis was not transported to the hospital.

Where the crash occurred, the speed limit is 55 mph. As of Friday afternoon, Tierney said, the speed of the Jeep Grand Cherokee had not been determined. Alcohol did not appear to play a role in the crash, she said.

Also as of Friday afternoon, no charges had been filed in connection with the crash. Tierney said the case will be referred to the State Attorney's Office, which will determine whether charges would be made.

Brunsik's body was taken to the Medical Examiner's Office in Leesburg for an autopsy.

Man, 81, arrested in domestic battery case

An 81-year-old Beverly Hills man was arrested Friday on a charge of domestic-related aggravated battery after a Citrus County sheriff's deputy found his wife in the master bedroom covered in blood, appearing to have been struck in the back of her head by an unknown object.

In the arrest report, the deputy wrote that William C. Hopkinson of 3084 Satin Flower Point, whom the deputy has dealt with several times, suffers from a mental disorder. The report also noted that Hopkinson's wife, whose name and age were not known Friday, also seemed to suffer from a mental disorder.

Hopkinson's wife was conscious and alert despite her injury, the report said, and was transported to Citrus Memorial Hospital.

The deputy found a large hole in the bedroom door, as if it had been broken in, the report showed. He also saw that the residence was messy and about 100 empty beer cans were scattered in the living room.

Hopkinson, who, according to the report was under the influence of alcohol, was taken to the Citrus County jail, where he was expected to be released on his own recognizance Friday afternoon.

_ Suzannah Gonzales can be reached at 860-7312 or