TAMPA, FL – The person who drove a dark-colored Mercedes and, fatally hit a mailer carrier, and then left the scene has been found, arrested, and booked into the Falkenburg Road Jail Monday.
FOX 13 News said the suspect was identified as 56-year-old Christopher Prater.
To recap, the collision happened Monday when Prater struck a United States Postal Service Vehicle in the Fern Cliff neighborhood, leading it to roll over, claiming the life of the mail carrier — 69-year-old Paul Falica.
Prater then fled the area of North River Cove Street and North Mulberry Street. An anonymous source was the one who reached out to Tampa Police and said that Prater was the suspect.
Police discovered that the vehicle did not belong to Prater but his roommate. Prater claimed his roommate drove it and was no longer in town. However, the roommate confirmed that he left his vehicle parked and gave no one, including Prater, permission to drive it. He only gave Prater his keys to move his vehicle as needed.
The damaged vehicle was found a mile from the collision site on North 16th Street. Police found a debit card in the car and fingerprints that were Prater’s. Video footage also showed him getting in and out of the car and driving back with the sustained damage.
As a result, police arrested him for leaving the scene of a crash that resulted in death and “driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license.”
Did your loved one pass away from a collision caused by another party? You could have an opportunity to pursue a wrongful death claim and recover compensation for any losses, including for funeral and burial expenses. Learn more about your legal options and next steps by scheduling a free consultation with our wrongful death lawyers. Arrange yours online or by calling Whittel and Melton LLC at 866-608-5529.