Friday, January 19, 2018
Public safety

Arrest made in weekend hit-and-run fatal in Brooksville

BROOKSVILLE — Michael J. Thompson had an eventful night last weekend, authorities say.

The 41-year-old Weeki Wachee man spent some time at Applebee's in Brooksville, headed to another bar a few miles down the road, then returned to Applebee's, according to Brooksville police.

Then, at some point in the early morning hours of Jan. 12, they say, Thompson struck 27-year-old Trina Harvey with his 2010 Chevy pickup and kept driving. Harvey, a mother of two young children, was later discovered lying in the median of Cortez Boulevard near Horse Lake Road and pronounced dead at the scene.

On Thursday night, police arrested Thompson and charged him with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.

Detectives might still be looking for a suspect had Thompson not been involved in another crash later that morning, police Chief George Turner said.

At some point ­— the exact time was still unclear Thursday — Thompson struck a utility pole along Knuckey Road in northwestern Hernando County, got out of the heavily damaged truck and fled, eventually making it to his home at 14416 Leisure Lane, Turner said. The Florida Highway Patrol investigated that crash.

Brooksville investigators scanning dispatch reports noticed that the description of the truck in the second wreck matched the vehicle they were looking for, based on parts found at the scene of Harvey's death. Detectives confirmed that the parts they had matched the truck, which is registered to Thompson, Turner said.

In an interview with investigators, the chief said, Thompson admitted to crashing the truck on Knuckey Road, but could not remember anything prior to that.

But based on the evidence, including witness accounts, "we can pretty much do a road map of where he was, who he was with and what he was doing," Turner said.

Thompson remained in the Hernando County Detention Center on Thursday evening in lieu of $80,000 bail.

Tony Marrero can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431. On Twitter: @TMarreroTimes.

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