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Driver in fatal Hillsborough hit-and-run surrenders to law enforcement

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Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
Published Apr. 1, 2019

Authorities spent much of Sunday looking for a driver who left the scene of a fatal crash in Hillsborough County Saturday night.

On Monday, they found him when Emilio Morales entered the Florida Highway Patrol's Tampa office and confessed, the agency said in a news release.

According to the release, Morales was headed southbound on U.S. 301 south of Sun City Center Boulevard around 10:30 p.m Saturday. Morales then veered into a no passing zone in an attempt to pass a line of slower southbound traffic.

At the same time, a motorcycle driven by Jeffrey Ringle, 48, of Wimauma headed northbound on U.S. 301. Also aboard the motorcycle was Megan Ringle, 45. Both were wearing helmets, Florida Highway Patrol said.

Morales crashed his 2001 Hyundai into Jeffrey and Megan Ringle's motorcycle, causing the couple to be thrown from the motorcycle and onto the shoulder of the road, the release said.

Jeffrey Ringle died from injuries he suffered in the crash. Megan Ringle was taken to a nearby hospital; Florida Highway Patrol did not specify the extent of her injuries.

Morales was arrested Monday. He faces charges of leaving the scene of a fatal crash and leaving the scene of a crash with serious injury.

It's unclear whether alcohol was a factor in the crash, the release said.

Correction: The victims in Saturday's crash were wearing helmets. Because of inaccurate information initially provided by Florida Highway Patrol, an earlier version of this story was wrong on this point.

This story has been updated throughout.

Contact Kirby Wilson at kwilson@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8793. Follow @kirbywtweets.


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