Hit-and-run driver, traveling with infant, injures 3 in crash, FHP says

- A Sarasota County woman is accused of fleeing from a crash that critically injured three people in other vehicles, while she had an infant in her car, troopers say. 

Florida Highway Patrol said 28-year-old Rachel Hauser, of Nokomis, was arrested Thursday. The crash, involving three vehicles, occurred on U.S. Highway 41 and North Creek Lane in Osprey.

Hauser was driving northbound on U.S. 41 in a 2014 Toyota 4-Runner carrying a 62-year-old passenger and male infant, troopers say. She was traveling behind a 2015 Lexus ES350 in the left lane approaching the North Creek Lane intersection, when she began to pass the Lexus in the right lane.

According to a media release, Hauser attempted to change back into the left lane, but did not leave enough room between her and the Lexus, causing a collision when the back of her vehicle collided with the front right of the Lexus.    

The Lexus traveled northwest due to the impact, and into the path of a 2008 Chevrolet Impala that was traveling southbound on U.S. 41, troopers say. Both vehicles collided. 

The driver of the Lexus is an 83-year-old Osprey man, who was traveling with a 79-year-old Osprey female. Both are in critical conditions, according to the release, and the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. It’s unclear of the female passenger was wearing one. Officials have not identified them.

The driver of the Chevrolet, 35-year-old Demario Evans, of Sarasota, is also in critical condition, troopers say, and are unsure whether he was wearing a seatbelt.

The infant and passenger in Hauser's vehicle were uninjured, according to FHP. 

Troopers say Hauser left the scene, but was later found and arrested on three counts of hit and run with serious injuries, two counts of hit and run with property damage, tampering evidence, and reckless driving. 

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