TARPON SPRINGS (FOX 13) - A vehicle matching the description of one involved in a hit-and-run was located at a Tarpon Springs diner this morning.
The gold Lincoln Navigator was parked outside George’s Breakfast Station on South Pinellas Avenue until law enforcement arrived and loaded it onto a trailer to haul away. The owner of the restaurant tells FOX 13 the vehicle was in the parking lot since Saturday.
On Friday night, troopers say, the SUV -- owned by 57-year-old James Vermeersch -- crashed into a family of three and sped off. Two of the victims, a woman and child, were in a wheelchair, being pushed along Bonita Road approaching Holiday Drive.
A witness followed the SUV and got the license plate number, which traced to Vermeersch. Troopers say a neighbor later saw Vermeersch and his wife pack up their belongings on Saturday and haven’t been seen since.
FHP described the suspect vehicle as a 1998 gold Lincoln Navigator with the Florida tag, FC86V, which matches the one parked at the Tarpon Springs diner. One of the SUV's front headlights appeared to be damaged.
There is still no word on the whereabouts of Vermeersch and his wife. Anyone with information about the suspected driver is asked to contact the FHP by calling *FHP or Crime Stoppers at 800-873-8477