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Clearwater man killed in hit-and-run; driver found at hospital

PINELLAS PARK — A 50-year-old man was killed in a hit-and-run crash early Monday, and police said they later found the driver who fled the scene at a Bradenton hospital.

The crash occurred at 2:18 a.m. at 49th Street and Park Boulevard.

William Trotter, 50, of Clearwater, was killed in the crash. Trotter had been driving north on 49th Street when his car was struck by a car that was going east on Park, police said.

Police said the car that hit Trotter was going at a high speed and ran a red light. The driver and a passenger of that car fled the scene on foot. A third person in the car remained on scene and was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with injuries.

Police searched the area with dogs but did not find the two who fled. Several hours later, police learned that a man had been admitted to Manatee Memorial Hospital with a broken femur. Officers went to interview the man, Anthony Peterson, 21, of St. Petersburg, and he told them that he was the driver, police reported.

Police said Peterson said he and his family were at a party at the Bottom's Up Gentleman's Club earlier that night.

Peterson said he was leaving the club when gunfire erupted in the parking lot. They drove away from the club, police said.

Peterson told officers that after the crash, he wanted to get away quickly, and that he and his friends panicked and left the scene. A friend who had been with him at the party took him to the hospital in Bradenton.

Police say they will meet with state prosecutors to discuss what charges, if any, will be filed.

Authorities still need to identify a third passenger in the Chrysler 300. Peterson said he only knew the man as "Spring." Anyone with information can call Officer Scot Galley or Sgt. Tracey Schofield at (727) 541-0758.

Clearwater man killed in hit-and-run; driver found at hospital 08/24/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 24, 2009 11:51pm]
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