Florida Highway Patrol troopers made an arrest in a hit-and-run case Friday involving the suspect talking to the victim post-crash, then removing his license plate and attempting to flee.

  • Crash occurred on State Road 54 west of Gateway Boulevard
  • Suspect rear-ended second car
  • Victim later able to identify suspect's car, suspect

Investigators said the crash occurred Friday afternoon on State Road 54 west of Gateway Boulevard. Manuel Estay, 64, of Wesley Chapel was driving east on SR 54 when he failed to stop for traffic ahead of him. Estay then collided with the car driven by Franklin Simmons, 70.

Troopers said Estay and Simmons talked to each other after the crash. At that time Simmons communicated that he was injured and asked Estay to call 911.

Estay then walked back to his vehicle, removed his license plate from the back of his car, and fled the scene.

Simmons, however, was later able to identify for troopers what Estay's vehicle looked like, and they later located it at a Bells location on State Road 56 and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.

Troopers also found Estay at that location, and took him into custody. He was charged with leaving the scene of a crash with injury, careless driving, and no proof of insurance.