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Highway Patrol seeks driver in hit-and-run

SPRING HILL — Authorities are searching for a red Toyota that was in the area Friday night when a 47-year-old woman was killed after being struck twice by vehicles on U.S. 19 in Spring Hill.

The Florida Highway Patrol believes the driver of the Toyota may have hit Kimbal Hackett of Spring Hill, then fled the scene.

"We do need the public's help," said Larry Coggins, a spokesman for the Highway Patrol.

Authorities identified Hackett on Monday afternoon after contacting her family.

An unknown vehicle was traveling north on U.S. 19 about 11:30 p.m. Friday when it hit the woman, who had been walking in the outside lane. The vehicle fled the scene, FHP officials said.

The woman was knocked down, then hit again while on the roadway by a vehicle driven by Asja Atherton, 20, of Spring Hill, authorities said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FHP toll-free at 1-800-500-1240, ext. 169.

Driver faces charge
in road rage incident

SPRING HILL — A Spring Hill man charged with battery has been accused of following a man to his job and punching him during a road rage incident Friday night.

Michael Willy Linka, 34, remained in Hernando County Jail on Monday.

His bail amount wasn't immediately known as of Monday afternoon.

Derek Zakel, 21, told sheriff's deputies he was driving southbound to Red Lobster on Commercial Way when someone in a white Ford F-150 truck swerved into his lane and cut him off.

Zakel continued driving to Red Lobster, where he went to pick up his paycheck, according to the report from the Sheriff's Office.

When Zakel got out of his car, Linka allegedly pulled his truck up next to him and started cursing. The men exchanged words, deputies said, and when Zakel turned to go into the restaurant, Linka struck him on the left side of the face.

Linka then allegedly pulled Zakel to the ground by his shirt, and continued to punch Zakel while they were on the ground.

Deputies said Zakel managed to push Linka off him, and Linka got into his truck and left the scene.

Deputies were able to track down Linka at his home in the 5100 block of Montford Circle using a license plate number that was taken down by Zakel. Linka was arrested at his house.

Highway Patrol seeks driver in hit-and-run 05/12/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 3:37pm]
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