Tampa woman arrested after deadly Zephyrhills hit-and-run

- A woman was arrested and charged with hitting and killing a man outside a Pasco County Christmas light display, then driving away.

Pasco County dispatchers confirmed one person was killed in the hit-and-run crash Christmas Eve. They said it happened around 8:40 p.m. near the intersection of Paul Buchman Highway and Pattie Road.

Neighbors said a popular Christmas light and sound display off Sate Road 39 is one of the largest in the area.

It's next to a busy highway, but people still walk and drive by to get a better view.

Florida Highway Patrol said law enforcement were looking for a black Jeep with a missing headlight. They found the Jeep and arrested 31-year-old Lorena Gonzalez of Tampa, who was driving it. 

According to a state highway patrolman, Gonzalez was passing the Christmas display around 8:30 Thursday night when her Jeep hit the man trying to cross the street.

Who was at fault in that crash was unclear, but according to troopers, Gonzalez did not stop her SUV, but instead, kept driving.

The victim was identified as 76-year-old Nicholas Panessidi. He died on the scene.

Troopers said Gonzalez drove to her home in Tampa after the crash. That's where she was arrested. FOX 13 was told she was being held in jail.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Tampa woman arrested after deadly Zephyrhills hit-and-run
  • N-word painted on Citrus Co. family's house
  • St. Pete's Manhattan Casino to become restaurant
  • Brooksville man arrested wearing Confederate Flag mask
  • Counties prepare for dueling rallies over Confederate monuments
  • Turtle trackers busy during peak hatching season
  • Manatee Co. Commission votes to leave Confederate monument in place
  • Kissimmee reeling after officers gunned down
  • Police: Students bring gun to high school football game
  • Solar eclipse glasses available Monday at some Bay Area libraries