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Family mourning Manatee County teen killed in hit and run

Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Family members are remembering 15-year-old Thomas Croumbley who was killed by a hit and run driver while skateboarding.

Troopers have confiscated the truck they say was involved in the crash.

The driver has come forward, but no charges have been filed at this time. Meanwhile, Croumbley’s family is grieving a life taken far too soon.

Just before 3 a.m. on Wednesday, troopers say 15-year-old Thomas Croumbley was riding a skateboard on Upper Manatee River Road.

FHP says he attempted to cross the street when a Toyota Tacoma slammed into him then took off. Croumbley was later discovered dead.

His aunt Brandy Harlan is in shock, but not surprised that he was out late at night.

“He was just doing what he loved, he enjoyed being outdoors, he enjoyed the crisp air, he was a free spirit, he wanted to be independent,” Harlan said.

‘Tommy,’ as he was known, grew up in Manatee County. He was adventurous, hard-working, and very close to becoming an Eagle Scout.

“No matter the circumstances, he was a kind kid, he was funny,” Harlan said.

FHP tells us Wednesday night, the owner of the Toyota Tacoma came forward. He provided the location of the vehicle, which was in his garage at a home near the crash site.

The front of the truck was completely smashed in. The owner did not provide a statement.

“The information we were given was minimal in nature but enough to give us a strong feeling towards who we believe may have been behind the wheel,” said FHP Trooper Kenn Watson. “What the Florida Highway Patrol will do now is scan for evidence. Looking at this vehicle with the assistance of the Florida Department of Law Enfocement we will be able to obtain a great deal of info based on what happened that morning.”

“We just hope that person tells the whole entire truth of what happened so that the law can do what the law is meant to do,” Harlan said.

The family is relying on faith.

“No matter what decision the driver made at the moment to not stay there and be with him is that’s something he’ll have to always or she’ll have to always carry with them, that’s their punishment to know that,” Harlan said. “God is faithful, he will handle the situation and everything that is meant to come out will come out.”

The suspect could face charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene.

The case is still under investigation, and FHP still needs your help. If you have any information to help in this case, give FHP a call.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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