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Plant City Observer Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 6 years ago

Hit-and-run crash kills one


One woman is dead after a hit-and-run crash this morning.

According to Plant City Police Department reports, at 11:07 a.m. Oct. 22, deputies arrived to the area near 4006 Airport Road Road in reference to a traffic crash with injuries.

When officers arrived, they found the not-at-fault driver, 75 year-old Basila Santana, and two other passengers from her vehicle with serious injuries.

They also learned the driver of the at-fault vehicle, 38 year-old Edilmar Palacio-DeLeon, fled the scene on foot prior to their arrival.

Officers, with the assistance of witnesses, located Palacio-DeLeon as he was attempting to flee the area as a passenger in another vehicle.

According to investigators, Palacio-DeLeon was traveling southbound through the parking lot at Santa Sweets at a high rate of speed prior to the crash.

As he exited the parking lot, Palacio-DeLeon failed to stop for Santana, who was traveling westbound on Airport Road. The front of Palacio-DeLeon’s 2003 Ford F-150 struck the right front of Santana’s 1995 Mercury Villager, sending it careening into a nearby fence.

Santana was transported to South Florida Baptist Hospital, where she was discovered to have serious internal injuries as a result of the crash. She was immediately airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa to repair those injuries but died during surgery.

Palacio-DeLeon was arrested at the scene for leaving the scene of a crash involving serious injury and driving without a valid license. He also was issued other citations for the traffic crash. Investigators anticipate amending Palacio-DeLeon’s charges to reflect the more serious charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving death.

Palacio-DeLeon remains in the Orient Road jail.

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