Sheriff Seeks Public Help For Information On Local Hit & Run Injury Crashes

By Tamas Mondovics

An increase of hit and run traffic crashes occurring throughout Hillsborough County, causing serious injury to both pedestrians and motorists, have made headlines in recent weeks raising the question of how to handle or to react to such incidents.

One of the most recent victims of a hit and run traffic crash involved Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office 15-year veteran, Cpl. Harrison Bashner, who at the time of the crash was driving his 2012 Chevrolet Impala.

According to deputies, on Sunday, July 7 at approximately 2:10 a.m., Bashner was traveling southbound on I-75 in the center, left lane when he noticed headlights approaching him at a high rate of speed.

Before he was able to switch lanes, the vehicle struck the rear of Bashner’s car and spun it out of control,  then came to rest on the west shoulder facing north.

The unknown vehicle fled south on I-75 as Bashner was transported to a Florida Hospital for minor injuries and was released.

Unfortunately, the injuries of 33-year-old Diana Pena of Riverview—also a victim of a hit and run traffic crash were much worse.

On July 4 at approximately 1:30 a.m., Pena was a passenger in a vehicle on Boyette Rd. in Riverview, which ran out of gas.

Deputies said that Pena got out of the vehicle and while attempting to cross to reach the gas station, she was struck by a vehicle.

A passerby saw her lying in the road and called 911. Pena was transported via AeroMed to Tampa General Hospital in serious condition and was upgraded to stable condition.

Vehicle debris left at the scene was determined to be from a Toyota Corolla, which prompted a search for the car and the driver, which was located 24-hours later, at 9757 Tranquility Lake Circle in Riverview belonging to 26-year-old, Matthew Ryan Fox.

Currently, detectives are asking residents with any information in reference to the suspect with the hit and run crash involving HCSO deputy Bashner, to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 247-8200 or anyone 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 www.crimestopperstb.com or text “CSTB plus your tip” to C-R-I-M-E-S (274637).