Family of University of Tampa student hit by car offers reward

10:03 PM, Jan 27, 2013   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida -- The family of a University of Tampa student who was hit by a car last weekend is now offering a cash reward, hopeful that it will bring answers.

"We're just looking to make things right," says Vinnie Lanci's father, Al.

Early in the morning on Sunday, Jan. 20, Vinnie was apparently hit by a car while walking home. As the 21-year-old crossed Howard Avenue near North A Street, the Tampa Police Department says that car hit him, then drove away.

The car, a 2007 Acura TL 4-door sedan with a mirror missing on its right side, was last seen heading north on Howard Ave. near I-275.

Al Lanci says his son is suffering from brain trauma. Relatives have been by his side at Tampa General Hospital constantly, flying in and out of New York to see him. 

Al is worried that so much time has passed without any answers about who hit his son, but he and his family are not giving up hope. In fact, they're stepping up their efforts, offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

"He's in very serious condition. He's in and out all the time. He has no idea some days where he's at, what he's doing," Al says.

Vinnie is a senior at the University of Tampa majoring in finance. He dreams of working with stocks and bonds.

"He was supposed to graduate in May," Al says. "Now we have a little bit of a setback."

Another setback: police say they've found the car that may have hit Vinnie, but they can't identify whether the car's owner was driving it that night, and haven't been able to make an arrest.

The Tampa Police Department is hoping someone can provide information that links the car to the area of Howard Avenue and North A Street that morning.

"You hit someone, you should be able to stay there and man up about it, instead of being a coward to walk away," Al says.

The family is pleading for anyone with information to call the Tampa Police Department at 813-231-6130.

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