Suspect in hit-and-run leaves puppy at crash site

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A hit-and-run crash ended with a twist Monday afternoon after the Florida Highway Patrol says the suspect fled and left a puppy stranded at the scene.

The crash report says it happened on the Pinellas side of the Howard Frankland Bridge in the northbound lanes, just after 12 p.m. Monday.

Both vehicles, a 1999 silver Honda Accord and a 2000 Dodge Caravan, were crossing the bridge in the outside lane when suddenly, troopers say, the Accord rear-ended the van.

The driver of the Accord, described only as a white male with curly hair, got out to check on the people in the van, but then he took off.

It’s unclear what happened in between the time he checked on the van and decided to leave, but somehow a small puppy was left behind at the scene.


Trooper Robert Ray took the dog home Monday night and cared for him, but the pup will be held for 30 days in case the owner steps up to claim him.

"Following media coverage, the recovered puppy, now nicknamed 'Crash,' has been placed with a local family," the accident report noted.  "Pinellas County Animal Services has listed the dog as found in the event an owner comes forward."

The Accord was found abandoned along I-75 in Manatee County overnight. Troopers are still looking for the driver.

Anyone with information regarding the crash is asked to contact the FHP by calling 813-631-4020.