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Speeding driver arrested after striking pedestrian in crash, St. Petersburg police say

Anthony Seafus, 19, faces charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident in the death of a 71-year-old woman who was strcuk while walking in a crosswalk. [Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office]
Anthony Seafus, 19, faces charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident in the death of a 71-year-old woman who was strcuk while walking in a crosswalk. [Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office]
Published Jul. 1, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — Morgan Rutch was sitting at the intersection of Central Avenue and 58th Street N on Wednesday afternoon when something caught her eye:

A 2007 Mercedes sedan was barrelling towards the intersection. She estimated it was going 50 mph or more.

She watched the car tear through a red light, strike a Hyundai Sonata and hurtle into a pedestrian standing in the crosswalk.

"It just flew through the intersection," Rutch said. "The car and the pedestrian were really close. The driver just hit both of them, one after the other."

Rutch pulled into the parking lot of a nearby CVS, called 911, and rushed to help the driver of the Sonata.

By that point, someone had placed a sheet over the body of the pedestrian, identified Thursday as 70-year-old Margaret Waller.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Mercedes was identified as Anthony Seafus, 19, according to St. Petersburg police. He was arrested on charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.

Just before the crash, police said Seafus was involved in another collision while driving west on Central Avenue. He struck an unidentified SUV at 49th Street N, police said, then sped away and crashed into the Hyundai.

Rutch approached the Hyundai after the crash and said the driver appeared to be shaken after the crash.

"I asked her if she was okay and she didn't even seem to know she had gotten hit," Rutch said.

Seafus also seemed dazed after the collision, Rutch said. When he got out of the Mercedes, the car appeared to be covered in blood. He was later taken away on a stretcher.

Records show Seafus was cited for careless driving in December and unlawful speeding in March. He was being held in the Pinellas County jail on Wednesday in lieu of $10,250 bail.

Contact Aaron Holmes at 706-347-1880 or aholmes@tampabay.com. Follow @aaronpholmes.