Video: Suspect and person of interest sought in fatal accident on Hillsborough Avenue

Victim pushes wife out of the way
Posted at 4:09 PM, Mar 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-19 18:33:34-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Police Department is asking for the public's help in finding the driver and passenger involved in a hit-and-run accident that left one man dead on Saturday, March 17.

On Monday, Tampa police announced they have identified the suspect and person of interest in the fatal hit and run. The driver of the vehicle involved in the hit and run has been identified as Tracy Evereth Wood, 31, known to frequent Seffner and Town N Country areas of Hillsborough County. Wood has an active warrant for hit and run involving a death. The person of interest has been identified as Miriam Marti-Benning, 43, a passenger of the vehicle involved in the hit and run. Police would like to speak to Miriam about the crash. 

Police say the vehicle was driving along the 4000 block of Hillsborough Avenue and for some unknown reason, left the road way, hit a sign, then an electrical box before plowing into 80-year-old Felix De la Uz.

Witnesses say De la Uz was walking with his wife, 69-year-old Narda Ruiz, when he pushed her out of the way of the oncoming vehicle before he was hit.  De la Uz sacrificed his life for his wife.

Investigators say the vehicle came to a stop 500 feet later and the occupants fled the scene on foot.

The suspects can be seen on surveillance tape from a local smoke shop as they were leaving the scene.

Felix De La Uz’s family was too distraught to talk on camera. But shared a photo of the 80 year old hugging his grandson.  

He had gone shopping with his wife at this small super market when in a flash everything changed, a Honda Civic barreled towards them. De La Uz pushed his wife out of the way. The impact was so severe it knocked De La Uz’s shoe right off his foot.

Hillsborough Avenue was closed for nearly six hours while police investigated the accident.  

Suspect descriptions:      

  • Driver W/HM 5'4" last seen wearing white tank top, dark shorts, dark shoes
  • Passenger WF 5'4" blonde hair, last seen wearing green shirt, jeans

Suspect's vehicle

  • White Honda Civic

Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $3,000 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the unknown suspects involved in this case.  Anyone with any information regarding the identity of the suspect and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at, or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile application. Crime Stoppers must be contacted first in order to be eligible for a cash reward.