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Florida Highway Patrol still investigating Pasco hit-and-run death of Geraldine Ford

TARPON SPRINGS — Lena Ford is angry.

A month ago, two vehicles hit her daughter as she crossed U.S. 19 in the crosswalk at Moog Road in Pasco County. Neither driver stopped, and both left Geraldine D. Ford in the road to die.

"I'm mad that they have not come forward and said they are sorry for what they did to my child," said Lena Ford, 79, as she sat in her Tarpon Springs front yard, tears coming to her eyes. "I'm mad. Everybody says let the Lord work it out, but I can't help the way I feel."

Geraldine D. Ford, 53, was killed June 12 when a northbound pickup truck, possibly a dark blue Chevy Silverado with furniture in its bed, slammed into her about 10:45 p.m., the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Ford was then run over by a red sedan that was heading north, the Highway Patrol said. Both drivers left the scene.

Sgt. Larry Kraus, Highway Patrol spokesman, said authorities have spoken with more than 20 witnesses but have "no good leads at this point."

"A lot of people can describe the vehicle, but they can't give a partial tag number," Kraus said.

Kraus said the Highway Patrol has a list of more than 60 vehicles from Tampa, New Port Richey and the rest of Pasco County that fit the Silverado's description.

"We are going to each residence where these vehicles are registered," Kraus said.

In addition, the Highway Patrol is going to Tampa Bay area body shops to see if anyone has come in with extensive damage.

Kraus said cases like this take time.

"We want to assure the family that we are actively working this case and definitely don't want to leave a case like this unsolved," Kraus said. "We hope someone has a conscience and comes forward or says we have information.

"She (Ford) was someone's daughter, mother and sister. She has a family and the last thing we want is for the family not to have closure with this case."

Geraldine Ford, whose nickname was "Ba Ba," grew up in Tarpon Springs and was the mother of three children and the youngest child of six.

On June 12, Ford spent the day assisting her friend Estelle Wadley in Holiday. Done for the day, Ford crossed U.S. 19 to a nearby CVS to purchase a $30 phone card. She was to call her son so that he could come pick her up.

Ford purchased the phone card but never made it back across the street.

"Just thinking about it makes me…," said daughter Denean Ford, 37, unable to complete her sentence while wiping tears from her eyes. "They just left her there."

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at 445-4174 or dalee@sptimes.com.

HOW TO HELP

If you have information

The Florida Highway Patrol is still seeking information about the June 12 hit-and-run death of Geraldine Ford. Call Cpl. A. Palese at (727) 841-4181, ext. 173, or call Highway Patrol dispatch at (813) 631-4020 and ask for the shift commander.

Florida Highway Patrol still investigating Pasco hit-and-run death of Geraldine Ford 07/16/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 16, 2009 7:45pm]
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