ALTHA, Fla. (WMBB) — In Calhoun County, a family is grieving the loss of a 14 year-old girl, tragically killed in a hit-and-run incident in Altha on Saturday night.
Florida Highway Patrol Troopers said on Sunday that the teen victim was walking southbound along Lake McKinzie Boulevard around 11 p.m., when a driver going north in a white Can-Am UTV vehicle veered across the center line, hitting the teen and a nearby call box before fleeing the area.
“I don’t know how anyone could do that,” said FHP Public Affairs Officer, Lt. Jason King on Sunday. “Leaving the scene of a crash involving a child, it takes a special person to do that.”
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
“This hits close to home for me and my family, as well as it does as a Mossy Pond community out here,” Lt. King said. “It’s just, it’s hard to swallow. It’s something about a child being involved and a careless act of an adult on top of that that just really drives this community to reach out, to look for answers, to help find answers.”
One answer was found on Sunday afternoon, as Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office deputies spotted the vehicle from the air in a helicopter. It was discovered in the woods in Jackson County, near Sleepy Hollow Road. The UTV was recovered by FHP with help from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and has been taken into custody by investigators.
The driver has not yet been found; Lt. King said the community and FHP Troopers will do everything they can to bring justice for the victim’s family.
“Whoever may have done this, I would ask them to take a step back and evaluate their life and as an adult own the responsibility of what occurred,” he said. “We just ask that, you know, come forward.”
He said anyone with any information about the incident is urged to report what they know to the FHP – Panama City office. They can be reached at 850-873-7020. This is an active investigation and more information will be released as soon as it becomes available.