St. Pete Deputies Seek Hit and Run Driver
St. Petersburg Police deputies are on the scene of a double fatality hit and run accident that happened about 3:00 a.m. Thursday morning at the intersection of 9th Avenue South and 16th Street.
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Two vehicles are involved, with one being found unoccupied when officers arrived on the scene. It appears the driver and any other possible occupants of that car had already fled on foot.
The second vehicle was found engulfed in flames with three occupants inside. A female occupant managed to be extricated from the car and is being taken to Tampa General Hospital via helicopter for treatment of severe burns. The two other occupants were unable to be rescued and pronounced deceased on the scene. Identities of the victims have not been determined as yet.
Efforts to locate the hit and run driver are ongoing.
Update: Investigators believe at this this time that a Chrysler 4 door sedan was heading south bound in the north bound lanes of 16th Street at a high rate of speed just before 3 a.m. this morning. In addition to the driver of that car, there may have been a front seat passenger, but that has not been confirmed as yet. I have no description of the driver to share at this point
A Saturn, occupied by three women, was heading east bound on 9th Avenue South and was turning left on to 16th Street when it was struck by the Chrysler.
As a result of the impact the gas tank to the Saturn ruptured and the car was fully engulfed in fames by the time first officer arrived on the scene. That officer reported that one of the occupants of the Saturn, likely the driver, was lying about 15 feet in front of the car, but the other two occupants remain in the car and due to the flames could not be rescued.
The officer began to check the surviving occupant's condition when Fire Rescue units arrived and they proceeded to move the woman further away from the car. She was later transported to Tampa General Hospital where she underwent surgery and was last listed in critical condition. She did have burns to her lower body and suffered internal injuries
The driver and any other occupants of the Chrysler had already fled from the car and could not be located. Information was received by investigators that prior to the crash the Chrysler had been seen leaving the Club One South Bar at 1833 1st Avenue South.
At this time investigators have made contact with the registered owner of the Chrysler to see who may have had custody of the car at the time of the accident.
Traffic Homicide investigators will provide an addition update later today once the occupants of the Saturn have been identified and next of kin contacted. We will also put out a media alert if a suspect in the Chrysler is identified and arrested as well.