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Troopers: 19-year-old crossing I-275 in Tampa dead after car hits him, driver flees

TAMPA — A driver hit and killed a 19-year-old pedestrian on Interstate 275 early Sunday morning then fled the scene, the car's passengers told Florida Highway Patrol troopers.

The pedestrian, Justin Martinez-Sanchez of Land O'Lakes, was walking across the highway about 2:15 a.m. A 2011 Audi A4 was driving northbound on the interstate just south of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Martinez-Sanchez walked directly into the car's path, according to an FHP report, and died at the scene.

Then, according to Nathanael Huitt, 26 of Tampa, and Austin Shulz, 27 of Tampa, the driver — a man they knew only as "Chris" — fled the scene, driving to a gas station on U.S. 92. He then got out of the car and left the scene on foot, while Huitt and Shulz called for law enforcement, they told the FHP. Both Huitt and Shulz were affected by alcohol, troopers reported.

They describe the driver as a 6-foot-tall man between 20 and 25 years old, wearing a black shirt and jeans. Troopers are still looking for him, and charges are pending.

Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

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