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Boy, 3, struck and killed by Lutz driver on Sunshine Skyway pier, troopers say

The child was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Apr. 18
Updated Apr. 18

A 3-year-old Hardee County boy died Saturday afternoon when he was struck by a pickup truck while walking on the South Pier of the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The boy was behind a parked car just before 5 p.m. when he started walking west toward his family across the northbound lanes of the pier, the Highway Patrol said. He walked into the path of a 19-year-old Lutz man driving a Chevrolet S-10 pickup.

The driver tried to stop but ran over the child with his right front and rear tires, the Highway Patrol said.

The driver has not been charged. The boy, from Bowling Green in Hardee County, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Vehicles park along one side of the fishing pier, people fish from the other and there are travel lanes in between. Between them, the north and south piers — created from the remains of the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge — stretch for four miles and are open 24 hours.

The Highway Patrol did not release the names of the victim and driver because of its interpretation of Marsy’s Law, a voter-approved amendment to the state Constitution that was meant to protect crime victims but that deprives the public of information long available under Florida’s public records law.

According to the Florida State Parks website, the South Pier remained closed Sunday as the investigation into the death continues. The North Pier remains open.