Bicyclist dead after hit-and-run in Tarpon Springs, search for driver underway

Pinellas County

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA) — Police are investigating a hit-and-run crash that left one person dead in Tarpon Springs Friday morning.

The crash happened near Wood Dove Avenue and U.S. 19 Alternate around 5 a.m. Police say the driver that hit the bicyclist continued driving south without stopping to help the woman.

The victim, identified by Tarpon Springs police as 59-year-old Terry Bruillard, was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I can’t see how someone could do that to another person….it’s very very sad,” said Heather Barlow who said she was a friend and former coworker to Bruillard.

A witness to the crash told police the driver never stopped. “That’s cold-hearted,” said one neighbor of Bruillard’s when we spoke with them.

“She left behind children, family, it’s the day after the holidays…the whole thing is sad. I can’t imagine someone hitting someone and leaving them to die,” said Barlow.

Police, a medical examiner, and her bike laying in the middle of the intersection of US Alternate 19 and Wood Dove Ave. Police spent more than five hours collecting evidence.

They said a helicopter flying above was searching for the car and need your help to find the car and driver. Police said the car is a light-colored, newer model four-door Hyundai sedan with damage on the passenger side, including a damaged headlight and broken side-view mirror.

“It’s very dangerous at night, there are no lights on and people go flying around that corner,” said Been. Rocky Been and his wife were neighbors with Bruillard and said that spot is known to be dangerous.

Anthony Marsh who saw the aftermath of the crash said police need to crack down on safe driving. “There just needs to be some reform, there could also be some sidewalks out here. That would be helpful. It’s a well-traveled area for pedestrians yet there are no sidewalks,” said Marsh.

As for Bruillard, Barlow told us she worked at Spongeorama at the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks for 4 years as a hostess with the shop, restaurant, and cruise line. She said Bruillard recently got back from a trip visiting family and is survived by a couple of kids and several grandchildren.

A personality she said many will miss. “Very outgoing, bubbly, loved to laugh, great sense of humor, loved to sing,” said Barlow.

Police are searching for the car and the driver. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Tarpon Springs Police Department’s traffic homicide investigators at (727) 938-2849.

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