Hillsborough County authorities say a man suspected of leaving the scene of a deadly car accident on St. Patrick’s Day has never had a proper driver’s license in the state of Florida.
Tampa police say Tracy Evereth Wood was driving on Hillsborough Avenue that fateful Saturday when, for unspecified reasons, the Honda Civic he was driving lost control. In its path were Felix De la Uz and his wife Narda Ruiz.
According to reports, the vehicle driven by Wood struck De la Uz, leaving the 80-year-old man with injuries that would soon be fatal. They say his 69-year-old wife Narda remained with him as his life ebbed away. However, they allege that neither Wood nor his passenger Miriam Marty Colon stayed to survey the results.
Tampa police say that Wood has never had the legal permission to drive a vehicle on Florida’s roads. At ages 14 and 15 a judge issued orders that he not be given a learner’s permit, and by age 21 he had yet to acquire a license when he was incarcerated for armed drug trafficking. In the intervening decade Wood has been arrested half a dozen more times in his three years of freedom, but state authorities say he still has no driver’s license.
In addition to searching for answers for Wood’s alleged flight from the scene of a fatal accident, Hillsborough County authorities are probing why he was driving a vehicle belonging to Colon. The pair hid for five days after the accident before being apprehended while camping in Pasco County.
Both Wood and Colon were booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on March 21. Wood is being charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident and driving without a valid license and causing serious injury or death. His bond of $35,000 remains unmet.
Colon, who was booked under the name Miriam Marti, is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident. The 44-year-old New York native was transferred to Gracepoint four days later.