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Mother, 2 children struck by distracted driver

Posted at 10:52 PM, Apr 01, 2016
The Florida Highway Patrol said a distracted driver hit a mother and her children as they walked along a Brooksville Road on Friday afternoon.
 
Lacey Thomas was walking with her 1 year old, 3 year old, and 6 year old along Neff Lake Road. Authorities said the driver is William Perkins, 26. They said he was distracted after dropping his cigarette. 
 
Thomas and two of her children suffered injures. Her 6-year-old was not hurt. According to FHP, Thomas is in stable condition at the hospital and her two children are in critical condition.
 
"For somebody just to drop a cigarette and worry about a cigarette more than worrying about what's on the road or by the road….it's devastating," neighbor Mark Schmidt said.
 
Mark Schmidt and his wife, Melinda, have seen Thomas walking in the neighborhood before.
 
"She walked a lot (and) all the time. (She walked) up and down the street. She walked a couple hours down and comes back," Mark Schmidt said.
 
The Schmidt's have 4 children and they are saddened about this incident.
 
"It's heartbreaking. I couldn't imagine, you know. I feel for the family and hopefully….it's….it's upsetting," Melinda Schmidt said.
 
ABC Action News spoke with Perkins' wife at the scene. She said she and her husband are devastated. She said he was test driving a family car today under a suspended license.
 
FHP continues to investigate.