Largo hit-and-run crash leaves newlywed motorcyclists badly injured

- A pair of newlywed motorcyclists continued to fight for their lives Thursday after they were involved in a hit-and-run crash in Largo on New Year’s Eve.

According to Largo police, Kurt and Cheri Holzbacher were riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle eastbound on Ulmerton Road at around 10:45 p.m. Witnesses said an SUV pulled out in front of them from the Bay Ranch Mobile Home Park.

"One minute you're thinking you're going to start a new year and you have all these goals, and the next minute you're looking at a touch-and-go situation," said Jennifer Rehm, Kurt's sister.

The Holzbachers were celebrating the New Year with friends, including Tracy Ziegler, who has known Kurt for about 20 years and considers him a brother.

Ziegler said the couple wanted to get home early to avoid drunk drivers, so they left at around 10 p.m.

Minutes later, they were on Ulmerton, approaching U.S. 19, when the accident happened. Investigators said the motorcycle collided with the SUV, which fled the scene eastbound on Ulmerton.

The Holzbachers both suffered serious injuries; Kurt remains in a medically-induced coma, while Cheri is in intensive care and has undergone surgery. The couple has been married for less than a year. 

"Accidents happen all the time, but to take off and leave two people on the road for dead. I can't wrap my mind around that," Rehm said. "This could be anybody's brother, anybody's sister. Imagine if that was your brother or sister. It's just heartbreaking. I want them to come forward and own their piece in it."

"Cold, heartless, callous person, who has no regard for themselves or anybody else," Ziegler said, describing the driver. "If you were drinking and got behind the wheel of the car, you know that you have to suffer the consequences of your actions."

The hit-and-run vehicle is described as possibly a green or dark-colored 1999 or 2000 Ford Expedition. There would potentially be damage to the passenger side of the SUV. 

Anyone with information about the vehicle or driver is asked to call LPD at 727-587-6730.

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