Hit-and-run suspects found camping in Pasco County woods, police say

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The driver and passenger involved in the hit-and-run crash that killed an 80-year-old husband were arrested, police announced Wednesday night.

Tampa police say they found 31-year-old Tracy Evereth Wood and 43-year-old Miriam Marti-Benning camping out in a Pasco County woods near Interstate 75 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard. 

On the afternoon of March 17, police say 80-year-old Felix De la Uz and his wife 69-year-old wife, Narda Vazquez Ruiz, were walking in the 4000 block of West Hillsborough Avenue, when a white Honda Civic, driven by Wood, left the roadway. De la Uz’s final action was to push his wife out of the way, right before it him. De la Uz was declared dead at the scene.

In surveillance video, Wood and Marti-Benning, identified as the passenger, were seen fleeing from the fatal crash, police say. Detectives learned, after checking Wood’s driving records, that he was never issued a driver’s license. 

They say after the crash, Marti-Benning called a friend to pick them up. She got cash to stay at a hotel that night, before heading to the wooded area in Pasco County. 

Detectives say Marti-Benning admitted she was told that someone died in the crash, but “continued to assist the driver with evading law enforcement.” She was in possession of the vehicle involved in the crash, and allowed Wood to drive it, they added.

Both face many charges, including leaving the scene of a deadly crash.