Tampa man walking with service dog injured in hit-and-run crash

Victim calls for changes to dangerous intersection

TAMPA, Fla. - "People cut through from Hillsborough Avenue onto Ola Avenue and race as if it was the Daytona 500," says Mauricio Rosas from his bed at St. Joseph's Hospital this morning.

Rosas was hit by a car while walking with his service dog last night. His dog appears to be okay, but Rosas tells ABC Action News he suffered a broken tibia. 

Most shocking of all, he says, the car drove off after hitting him.

"I looked that way and I looked this way. The car was at the stop sign," explains Rosas. "And next thing I know, boom, the car just slams into me."

"I remember being tumbled on to the top of the car and the windshield," he adds.

One thing that didn't exactly surprise Rosas about the ordeal is the intersection was hit. Unfortunately, he says, it's known for people speeding around and even though stop signs. Henry Avenue and Ola Avenue are popular neighborhood cut-through for drivers looking to avoid the sometimes busy intersection of Hillsborough Avenue and N Florida Avenue.

"Something has to be done," about the intersection says Rosas, who thinks the intersection, right next to Henry and Ola Park in Tampa, needs to be turned into a four-way stop, and thinks speed-tables might be in order as well.

"I don't necessarily like it, but it's the only way we can get people to slow down," he says. "I just don't want any of my neighbors to be going through what I'm going through, or something even worse."

 Rosas and his partner tell Tampa Police the car appeared to be a late-model Mazda four door sedan with what looked to them like faded green paint. It was dark, after 8 p.m. when the accident happened, and so they had trouble getting a good look at the license plate. They saw three people in the car that drove away.

Rosas is well-known in the Seminole Heights community where he was walking. He organizes community dog walks on weekends, and considers himself an activist for safer streets, for both drivers and pedestrians.

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