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FHP: 3 cars hit, kill New Port Richey pedestrian; one driver fled

PORT RICHEY — A New Port Richey man was killed Saturday night after being struck by three separate cars as he was crossing U.S. 19.

Stephen John Matava Jr., 56, was crossing the highway westbound just south of Saltwater Boulevard, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

The cars were driving northbound. At about 10:30 p.m. a gray Hyundai in the inside lane hit Matava and sped off, the FHP reported. Then a Toyota Tundra driven by Christian Wheat, 26, of Hudson and a Ford Explorer driven by Cherie Leger, 58, of Hudson both struck Matava. Neither driver was injured.

Alcohol was not a factor for Wheat or Leger. But charges are pending for the driver of the gray Hyundai in the hit-and-run crash. The FHP is searching for the vehicle, which has front-end damage and is missing its left outside mirror and headlight.

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