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Girl, 15, hit by car and hurt on her way to school in Tarpon Springs

TARPON SPRINGS — A 15-year-old girl was injured Monday morning after she was hit by a car while crossing Pine Ridge Boulevard on her way to school, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Joseline Ramos Martinez, of Palm Harbor, was in the crosswalk when she was struck about 6:40 a.m. The driver of the car, Joseph Darezzo, 20, also of Palm Harbor, initially left the scene but returned more than an hour later, according to the FHP.

He is facing a charge of leaving the scene of a traffic crash with injury. Investigators said Darezzo was driving west on Pine Ridge when the car in front of him stopped at the intersection with East Lake Road. Darezzo reportedly drove around the car to pass, and struck the teenager. It's likely she was heading to nearby East Lake High School, where school begins at 7:05 a.m.

Martinez was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with non-life threatening injuries. No further information was immediately available.

Check tampabay.com for updates.

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