Five women traveling in a sport utility vehicle were seriously injured Saturday night when they were struck from behind by a pickup truck whose driver fled on foot, authorities said.
Around 10:20 p.m., a 2015 GMC Yukon traveling south on U.S. 19 slowed for a caution light at Republic Drive, just north of Westfield Countryside mall. A 2005 Ford F-150 truck failed to slow and crashed into the Yukon, propelling it through the intersection, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The pickup truck kept going until for about a half-mile before stopping along the exit ramp to State Road 580.
The driver got out of the truck and ran away. A passenger in the truck, Isauro Bonilla-Ramierz, 30, of Dunedin, remained at the scene and was not injured, but did not identify the driver.
Seriously injured were the driver of the Yukon, 59-year-old Reda Landcaster of Tampa, and all four of her passengers: Shalia Williams, 52, of Tampa; Beverly Harvin, 50, of Tampa; Phyllis Kahan, 51, of St. Petersburg; and Twanda Poole, 41, of Columbus, Mo.
Troopers described the truck driver as an Hispanic man, 30 to 40 years old and 5-feet-11, 170 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call the FHP at 813-631-4020.