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Pedestrian killed when vehicles collide in downtown St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Police were looking Saturday for the driver of a black Hyundai who ran a red light in downtown, causing a wreck that killed a woman crossing the street.

Investigators said the driver of the 2004 Hyundai Sonata drove off after the crash outside the St. Petersburg Times building at 490 First Ave. S. They said it has a Florida license plate with number 227VNY.

The victim, Shirley A. Harris, 74, lived a block away in Lutheran Apartments.

Witnesses said a tan, 2004 Dodge Ram truck was heading east on First Avenue S, when the Hyundai, southbound on Fourth Street, ran the red light.

The Dodge struck it on the rear passenger side, causing the Hyundai to spin into Harris.

It then spun into a parking meter and gouged a corner of Paddy Burke's Irish Pub.

The Hyundai's driver fled south on Fourth Street, witnesses told police.

William Burrows, 59, who was driving the Dodge, remained at the scene.

Burrows has not been charged, police said.

Times security guard Hank Goettelman heard the crash at 7:12 a.m. He walked to the corner of Fourth Street and First Avenue S and saw the Dodge but no other vehicle.

Goettelman spotted the woman in the street about 100 feet south of the intersection.

He said he checked her pulse, but found none.

Harris had lived at Lutheran Apartments for about a year, said Al Yates, a security guard at the complex.

"She kept to herself, didn't bother no one," Yates said. "She'd get up early and go shopping. That's all I know."

Goettelman, a firearms instructor with a military background, said he shed tears for Harris.

"It's not the first body I've ever seen," he said, "but it still bothers me."

Police cordoned off Fourth Street S between First and Second avenues S for nearly four hours while they investigated.

The crash remained under investigation Saturday evening.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at ameacham@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2248.

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Anyone with information about the crash should contact the St. Petersburg Police Department at (727) 893-7550.

Pedestrian killed when vehicles collide in downtown St. Petersburg 07/10/10 [Last modified: Saturday, July 10, 2010 11:11pm]
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