Texas man struck and killed by fleeing vehicle in Hillsborough C - WFLA News Channel 8

Texas man struck and killed by fleeing vehicle in Hillsborough County

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Woods, 25, was walking along South Parsons Ave. when he was struck and killed. Woods, 25, was walking along South Parsons Ave. when he was struck and killed.
HCSO detectives believe this fragment came from the vehicle that hit Thomas Woods. HCSO detectives believe this fragment came from the vehicle that hit Thomas Woods.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The last time Teresa Griner heard her only son speak, Thomas Woods told his mother, "I love you, see you later and I'm going to go have fun". Several hours later, while he was walking north on Parsons Avenue in Seffner, Woods was apparently struck from behind and killed by a hit-and-run driver.

The 25-year-old Woods, who lives in Texas, was visiting Griner and other relatives in the Tampa area while sleeping in a variety of homes in southeastern Hillsborough County. That wasn't odd, according to his family, because Woods often moved around, using the kindness of friends while working a variety of jobs.

A motorist driving on Parsons just after midnight saw Woods' body and called 9-1-1. Emergency personnel arrived on the scene, but by that time, were too late. Larry McKinnon from the HIllsborough County Sheriff's Office said the vehicle they believe struck and killed Woods is distinctive.

"Between the investigation and now, we've just recently released a photograph of a piece of wreckage that we've identified that we believe has come from the vehicle", McKinnon said. "This has a very unique aquamarine or teal color to the particular wreckage of the vehicle. We also seized fragments of this particular plastic molding which we believe to be parts of the automobile in the victim's clothing as well".

Woods' final Christmas gift to Griner and his aunt were bottles of perfume. Griner said she'll never use it. Woods' family described him as an avid fisherman and someone with a goofy nature who loved to make people laugh. Griner heard the news of her son's death in a phone call from her daughter and said she's not mad at the hit-and-run driver, but proud of someone else.

"Whoever is the one who called 911, I want to meet them, I want to thank them for calling", a tearful Griner said.

11-year-old Dustin Blanche also took the news hard at the loss of his uncle. "He was the best person I've ever known in this entire world", Blanche said. I'll never meet somebody like him ever again. It's not fair at all that my uncle is dead. I didn't even get to give him his present".


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