Tampa Police Charge Two in Hit-and-Run Death of 80-Year-Old Man
They were found camping in a wooded area in Pasco County, the Tampa Police Department said.
TAMPA – Police have arrested a man and woman in connection with Saturday’s (March 17) hit-and-run that killed 80-year-old Felix De la Uz.
Tracy Everth Wood, 31, was charged with hit and run with failure to remain at a crash involving death, driving without a license and causing death/serious injury with a vehicle.
Miriam Marti-Benning, 43, has been charged with hit and run with failure to remain at a crash involving death with the enhancement of principal in the first degree and aiding and abetting the commission of a crime.
The charges arose out of a Saturday hit and run crash on Hillsborough Avenue. Mr. De la Uz and his wife were walking along the road when, witnesses said, a Honda Civic left the road, hit a sign, an electrical box, then Mr. De la Uz. Mr. De la Uz pushed his wife out of the way before he was hit. The Honda’s driver and passenger fled on foot. (For related stories, click here and here.)
The Tampa Police Department said officers received multiple tips while searching for suspects. But in the end, officers said investigative work enabled Tampa police detectives, who were working with the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, to find Wood and Marti-Benning.
Police said they were found in a wooded area near I-75 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard just off State Road 54 in Pasco County. They were arrested without incident.
After Wood and Marti-Benning fled the scene of the crash, police said Marti-Benning called a friend to pick up both of them and drive them out of the area. Marti-Benning also got some money so they could stay in a hotel that night. It’s not clear where the money came from.
They then fled to Pasco where they camped out in the woods. Marti-Benning told police that she was told that they killed someone but she continued to help Wood evade the police. Officers said she possessed the Honda and allowed Wood to drive it. Records from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show that Wood has never been issued a driver’s license.
In-story photos show tent where Tampa police say Tracy Everth Wood and Miriam Marti-Benning were living. Courtesy of the Tampa Police Department.
Tampa Police | Fatal Hit and Run | Felix De la Uz | Crime | Arrests | Tampabay News
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