Police search for driver in deadly hit & run - FOX 13 News

Police search for driver in deadly hit & run

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Photo taken at the scene of the crash Photo taken at the scene of the crash
Tomas Melendez Tomas Melendez

St. Petersburg Police are searching for a man responsible for a crash that killed an 81-year-old man.

According to a police spokesperson, the crash happened just after 9 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of 15th Avenue South and 25th Street South.

Anna Melendez tells FOX 13 she was driving home from church Wednesday night when the silver Nissan Altima drove through a stop sign and crashed into her car. Her husband Tomas was in the passenger seat and son Daniel was in the back seat.

"We were in the ambulance, and they woke me up and they said, 'You've been in an accident,' " Melendez said. "They had to pull me out by the roof."

All three were taken to the hospital, but Tomas did not survive his injuries.

Whoever was driving the silver Nissan ran away from the scene, police say.

"It's irresponsible because an 81-year-old man shouldn't have to die that way," Melendez said. "An accident is an accident, but this one could've been preventable."

The ditched car turned out to be a rental, and officers have questioned the woman who rented it. She was not driving and was not with the car at the time of the crash, officers say.

Witnesses tell police the suspect driver is a black man in his 20s or 30s with a beard. He was reported as swerving around vehicles and driving at a high rate of speed prior to the crash.

Police are checking out at least one "promising" lead, but so far no arrests have been made.

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