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Date of Issue: October 11, 2007

Police seek crash suspect

Holmes Beach police continued last week to investigate an early morning car accident that damaged two trees and a light pole in a median on Marina Drive.

The hit-and-run accident involving a 2005 Nissan occurred sometime before 4 a.m. Sept. 30 on Marina Drive near 56th Street.

The vehicle “appeared to have been going north at a high rate of speed,” stated the traffic crash report from HBPD. “The vehicle left the roadway, went up onto the traffic island and struck a palm tree. The vehicle then proceeded north on the traffic island and struck a cement light pole, exploding it into many pieces. The vehicle then bounced back onto the roadway, coming to a stop facing west across the roadway.”

Damage to the car was contained to the front end, driver’s side and windshield and estimated at about $10,000.

Damage to the Marina Drive island near the intersection was estimated at about $2,500.

The Nissan was left at the accident scene, but according to the police report, “the driver of the vehicle fled the scene, likely on foot.”

The report stated that there were no witnesses to the incident, but with a lack of blood in the car, authorities do not suspect any injuries.

Police have talked with attorney Andy Mooney, who is representing the vehicle’s owner, Steven Vandergriff of Palmetto, and who advised Vandergriff “not to speak with police regarding this incident,” according to the police report.

The report also stated, “It is unknown who was the operator of the vehicle, but it was not reported as stolen. There are no witnesses and no evidence in the vehicle which would point to a driver.”