News: Hit-and-run in Clearwater claims life of elderly scooter rider 


CLEARWATER, FL – An 80-year-old man was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he later died on Wednesday after getting struck by a driver who fled the scene Monday. 

This collision happened around 2:45 p.m. on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. ABC Action News said the pickup truck driver, 36-year-old Kris Paterson, was rushing to work when he ran over the scooter rider, later identified as Ernest Coluzzi. 

Clearwater Police, who are in charge of this investigation, said that Paterson had allegedly driven less than half a mile when he stopped to remove the mobility scooter attached to either the front or back bumper of his truck. They arrested him and booked him into the Pinellas County Jail. 

Paterson had supposedly said he knew he struck something but didn’t know it was a person. He was initially going to be “charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving serious bodily injury.” However, now he’s expected to face a more serious charge, which will be reviewed by the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office. 

Did your loved one pass away as a result of a collision caused by a negligent driver? You could have the opportunity to pursue a lawsuit against them. When you pursue legal action, the other driver will not only be held accountable for the pain they caused you and your family but the money you receive as a result could be used to terminate any existing medical bills that emerged when your loved one spent time in the hospital prior to their passing. The compensation can also be used to account for lost income and be used as a means of paying for a funeral, burial, or memorial service to honor your loved one’s memory and legacy. Our wrongful death lawyers are ready to be your side, offering quality legal representation and support during this difficult time. Call Whittel & Melton, LLC at 866-608-5529 or reach out online for a free consultation. 

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