St. Pete hit-and-run at construction site kills deputy

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – A Pinellas County deputy died Thursday night after a hit-and-run collision involving a front-end loader at a St. Pete construction site, reports Spectrum News 13.

Police say the incident happened just after 10:30 p.m. at a construction site on the southbound side of I-275 near Roosevelt Boulevard, which is in the vicinity of the Howard Frankland Bridge.

The investigation thus far indicates that a construction worker drove a front-end loader into the deputy, who died at the scene.

Authorities identified the victim as 51-year-old Deputy Michael Hartwick. They say Hartwick was providing overnight security to the construction site when the incident occurred.

The driver of the front-end loader fled the scene and hid from law enforcement. Police found and arrested the suspect, identified as Victor Vasquez-Real, on Friday. Vasquez-Real faces a second-degree felony charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

The investigation is ongoing.

If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident in Pinellas County due to another driver’s negligence, enlisting an experienced lawyer can help ensure that your family’s rights are protected. The Tampa Bay area car accident attorneys at Mickey Keenan P.A. will prioritize your case and help you pursue justice on behalf of your family member. Contact us today online or by phone at (813) 871-1300 to schedule a free consultation.

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