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FHP searches for man in New Port Richey hit-and-run

NEW PORT RICHEY — The man got out of his pickup truck for a moment to survey the damage. The SUV he just hit was flipped on its roof; the driver inside was injured.

Then, in broad daylight, with witnesses watching, the man hopped back in his silver or gray Toyota Tundra and sped away.

The Florida Highway Patrol is still searching for the man who caused the crash at 3 p.m. Monday on U.S. 19 near State Road 54.

Authorities say the man was driving north when he switched lanes and then abruptly moved back into the center lane, striking the right rear of a sport utility vehicle. The SUV driver, Catherine Bridges, lost control and collided with another vehicle in front of her. Bridges' 2008 Suzuki then flipped onto its roof and landed in the median, according to the FHP.

Bridges, 58, of Holiday, was taken by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center. She was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The driver of the other car that was hit, Marjorie J. Fratea, 53, of Hudson, was not injured, FHP said. The man who caused the crash briefly pulled over onto the east shoulder, got out of his extended-cab truck, then drove away, authorities said.

Troopers ask that witnesses or anyone else with information about the crash call (813) 631-4020.

FHP searches for man in New Port Richey hit-and-run 11/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 7:30pm]
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