75-year-old Hit and Run victim dies after suspect's arrest

11:27 PM, Oct 22, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, FL-- Plant City Police arrested the driver at fault in a Hit and Run crash today, as they transported three injured victims to a nearby hospital- one of which, reports say, suffered injuries so severe she passed away.

It was approximately 11:07 a.m., when the Plant City Police Department responded to the 4000 block of Airport Road Road in reference to "a traffic crash with injuries."

When officers arrived, they reportedly found 75 year-old Basila Santana and two other passengers from her vehicle with serious injuries from the crash. 

They soon learned the at-fault driver, 38 year-old Edilmar Palacio-DeLeon, fled the scene on foot before they arrived.  Officers, with the assistance of witnesses, located Palacio-DeLeon as he attempted to leave as a passenger in another vehicle, reports say.

According to investigators, Palacio-DeLeon was speeding southbound through the Santa Sweets parking lot when his 2003 F-150 struck the right side of Santana's 1995 Mercury Villager, and sent it it careening into a nearby fence.

Officials arrested Palacio-DeLeon at the scene for Leaving the Scene of a Traffic Crash Involving Serious Injury and Driving without a Valid Driver License, and they also cited him for the traffic crash.

Medical personnel transported Santana to South Florida Baptist Hospital, where doctors discovered her to have serious internal injuries as a result.  She was immediately airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa to repair those injuries, but reports say she passed away during surgery.

The investigation continues. Investigators say they anticipate amending Palacio-DeLeon's charges to reflect the more serious charge of Leaving the Scene of a Traffic Crash Involving Death. 

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