Sarasota police look for hit-and-run driver caught on camera

- A Sarasota woman was injured after another driver hit her car, totaling it, and just kept going. Luckily, traffic cameras caught the whole thing. 

That video, which was posted to the Sarasota Police Department Facebook page, resulted in a tip that led officers to locate the hit-and-run car. But the search for the driver continues.  

The woman is still hoping the other driver will take responsibility.

May 7, Jennifer Manus was on her way to work. It was early, around 4:45 a.m., when she was traveling on Tamiami Trail near Bay Road.

"I was driving. I had the green light to keep going, so I go straight," Manus said. "All of a sudden, I hear a honk and before I know it, hit the car, crash."

Still not sure what happened, she looked for the other vehicle that crossed in front of her. All she saw were tail lights as they drove out of sight. Fortunately, traffic cameras at the intersection captured the crash from three different angles.

"I was frustrated. I couldn't believe they took off," Manus said.

Pretty soon, frustration turned into pain.

"My leg immediately started hurting because I hit underneath the steering wheel," Manus said. "My back was just hurting so bad and my neck."

It wasn't until a few days later that an x-ray showed she'd suffered a spinal sprain. Adding to that pain, her car was totaled and she didn't have full insurance coverage.

"There had to be a good amount of damage done to their car," Manus said.

Hit-and-run crashes like this are on the rise in Florida. Last year alone, there were more than 99,000, up about 5,000 from 2015, and up more than 20,000 from 2013.

Under Florida law, drivers must stay at the scene of a crash involving injury or death. Leaving is a felony, which could mean losing your license or prison time.

"Makes me wonder why they kept going," Manus said.

Manus hopes whoever hit her, sees themselves on video and does the right thing.

"I'm not angry, I just want some kind of resolve from this," Manus said. "It's a lot of money. I had to get a new car, two weeks out of work not paid, it's hard."

Investigators believe the other vehicle is a white GMC Terrain made between 2010 and 2016. It'll have damage on the rear passenger side door area. Anyone with information on the case should call Officer Dave Kennedy at 941-365-7024 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at SarasotaCrimeStoppers.com.

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