TARPON SPRINGS — It's been a tough holiday season for Estelle Wadley.
When she went to peel the shrimp for a Christmas Day shrimp and yellow rice dish, her best friend Geraldine D. "Ba Ba" Ford came to mind. When she went to clean her house, Ba Ba came to mind.
When Wadley drives by U.S. 19 and Moog Road in Pasco County, she's again flooded with emotion.
That's the intersection where Ford, 53, was killed in June while trying to cross the street. No one ever stopped. Ford had been working at Wadley's Holiday home before the accident.
"She was my best friend and I miss her," Wadley said. "We would cry together and we would laugh together.
"Ba Ba is missed by the community and by a lot of people. She helped a lot of people. I'm still hurting and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her."
Sgt. Larry Kraus, spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol, said the case is still active but no new leads have developed.
"So far, we have not located a suspect," Kraus said.
On June 12, Wadley picked Ford up earlier in the day and brought her to Holiday to help with some work around her house. Later that night, Ford walked to a nearby CVS to purchase a $30 phone card.
After buying the card, Ford was crossing U.S. 19 in the crosswalk at about 10:45 p.m. That's when a dark-colored pickup truck, possibly a dark blue Chevy Silverado with furniture in its bed, hit her, the Florida Highway Patrol said. She was then run over by a red sedan that was heading north, the Highway Patrol said. Neither vehicle stopped.
"It was like she was a piece of trash laying in the street and no one even cared enough to stop to see if she was okay," Wadley said. "I wish they would find the person that did that to her. They just left her there in the middle of the street to die.
"I just can't understand how someone could do that to someone who wasn't doing anything wrong."
Demorris A. Lee can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 445-4174.