Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

83-year-old pedestrian dies in early morning Tampa crash

Luis Salgado was hit and killed after he left the home of America Herrera.

Photo courtesy of America Herrera

Luis Salgado was hit and killed after he left the home of America Herrera.

TAMPA — The hat in the road confirmed her worst fear.

That male pedestrian they mentioned on the news, the body under the sheet behind all the crime scene tape: It was Luis.

"He was a good man," America Herrera said later in Spanish.

Herrera's common-law husband of 10 years, 83-year-old Luis Salgado, died at about 7 a.m. Saturday as he walked from Herrera's N Church Avenue apartment toward his own place on E Harrison Street.

Two cars hit Salgado as he crossed W Hills­borough Avenue at Church — first a Nissan Sentra, then a Chevrolet Cavalier, police said. There's no crosswalk at that spot. Salgado died at the scene.

Herrera, 84, was on her way to work at a nearby Goodwill thrift store when she saw the police lights and got a terrible feeling.

She didn't have to ask who the dead man was when she saw Salgado's cowboy hat in the blocked-off westbound lanes. She started to cry. One of the female drivers who had hit Salgado hugged her and started crying, too, Herrera recalled.

When they took Salgado away, Herrera went home. She sat at her little dining room table, looked at pictures, prayed the rosary and cried some more.

Herrera remembered the day she first met Salgado, a retired nurse. They were riding the same Tampa bus, and he struck up a conversation.

Herrera thought of the traditional Cuban music Salgado used play on his guitar — always, for her, a love song.

Though the two considered themselves married, they never made it official. Both Herrera and Salgado had been married before, and both already had children.

They became U.S. citizens several years ago — first Herrera, then Salgado.

Though Salgado had his own place, he and Herrera spent nearly every day together.

"He was always taking care of me," Herrera said.

The news came on, and Herrera stopped talking. She looked at a map on the screen that pinpointed the spot where Salgado died. She shook her head.

"Un hombre muy bueno," she said. A very good man.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at or (813) 661-2442.

83-year-old pedestrian dies in early morning Tampa crash 10/16/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 16, 2010 8:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Here kitty, kitty ...


    In a toned down version of the annual rookie dress-up day based on MLB's new anti-hazing policy, Rays rookie players and staff - plus second-year LHP Blake Snell - donned DJ Kitty onesies for the trip to New York.

    Rays rookie players and staff - joined here by Alex Colome - sporting their DJ Kitty onesies before the flight to New York.
  2. Pasco residents affected by Irma invited to town hall meeting

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Representatives from Pasco County Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will play host to a town hall-style meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in the first-floor boardroom of the West Pasco Government Center, 8731 Citizens Drive, New Port Richey

    Sandra Cunningham assesses the damage a water oak did to her Church Avenue home when it crashed into her bedroom roof during Hurricane Irma.
  3. Lightning's Nikita Kucherov has a lot to say — about moving on to a much better season

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov sits back in his stall and smiles.

    Laughs a little, too.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) prepares for a faceoff during the first period of Friday's  (9/22/17) preseason game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Clearwater man shot, seriously injured


    CLEARWATER — A shooting Sunday morning in unincorporated Clearwater left one man seriously injured, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

  5. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)