Witness says 2 cars ‘refused to stop’ after deadly Christmas hit-and-run in St. Pete

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A search is still underway in St. Petersburg for two cars that police say hit a man and then drove away. The man died at the scene.

Cassie Moore saw the whole thing happen and couldn’t believe it. She said she was standing in the front yard of her home just off of 18th Avenue South on Christmas night when two cars hit a pedestrian and kept going.

“Right over here where that orange marker is on that sidewalk is where he died,” Moore said, pointing at the orange and white spray paint on the pavement. “The first car hit him and he went flying to the side of the road. And about 15 seconds later, another car came and ran over his body.”

The crash happened just after 7 p.m. near the intersection of 19th Street South and 18th Avenue, about 100 feet from a crosswalk.

Authorities have not identified the man, but they do tell us he was 56 years old and did not have a permanent address. They are working to locate any relatives close by before releasing his identity.

St. Petersburg Police Department Spokesperson Yolanda Fernandez says the first driver had to know he or she hit something.

“The impact was so violent that it actually did front-end damage to the car,” Fernandez said. “We know it was a blue Kia because the front mirror, the passenger side mirror, was knocked off.”

The other vehicle is described as a grey sedan.

Cassie Moore lives near the scene and witnessed the hit and run.

Because the victim was not crossing the roadway in the crosswalk, had either driver remained on scene, police say there may not have been any charges.

“We tell people all the time – if you hit someone, don’t panic. Stop and deal with those consequences,” Fernandez said. “Because once you leave and it’s a hit-and-run, that’s a criminal offence. A very serious charge.”

Moore can’t understand why neither driver stopped.

“They just left. The guy that hit him just kept going and the other person that ran over him the second time just kept going. So they both knew what they did, they just refused to stop,” Moore said. “And it’s sad because it was Christmas.”

Police are asking for anyone with information about either vehicle to contact the St. Petersburg Police Department at 727-893-7780 or text SPPD plus your tip to TIP411.

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