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St. Petersburg police looking for hit-and-run driver who critically injured 88-year-old man

ST. PETERSBURG — Edward Guzenski didn't let his age stop him from working as a security guard at Bayway Isle in Tierra Verde.

On Monday, his 88th birthday, he worked the night shift. His family decorated his security guard booth with "happy birthday" banners.

After his shift, Guzenski headed home. At 11:59 p.m., a motorist fleeing from police broadsided his car.

Guzenski was taken to Bayfront Medical Center and is in critical condition. The driver of the car that hit him has yet to be caught, police reported.

Guzenski was being treated for internal bleeding, broken ribs, a broken pelvis and a neck fracture, his family said.

"He's just a great, hardworking guy. He never gave anybody any problems," said Guzenski's son-in-law, Randy Myrick, 46.

The crash occurred after a St. Petersburg police officer noticed a 2002 Ford Mustang moving erratically on 35th Street N, police said. The officer turned on his lights and siren and tried to pull the car over, but the driver turned off the headlights and sped up, police said.

At 22nd Avenue N, the driver ignored a stop sign and slammed into the passenger side of the Toyota Camry that Guzenski was driving. The impact pushed the Camry into a home's porch.

Police said the officer was not pursuing the Mustang when the crash occurred.

At a small family gathering over the weekend, Guzenski had insisted on nothing fancy for his birthday, just hamburgers and hot dogs, Myrick said.

On Monday, he wanted to work. His family, which tried for years to get him off night duty, knew better than to object.

Guzenski came to Florida from New Jersey about 25 years ago after retiring from a job repairing office equipment.

"He enjoys working and meeting people," Myrick said. "You probably would guess he is 68."

.Fast facts

To help

Police describe the driver who hit Edward Guzenski as a black man in his mid-to-late 20s who was wearing a black tank top and blue jean shorts. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (727) 893-7780.

St. Petersburg police looking for hit-and-run driver who critically injured 88-year-old man 09/06/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 10:32pm]
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