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Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Tampa police make arrest in hit-and-run that killed girl, 11

Tampa police have arrested a suspect in a hit-and-run crash that killed an 11-year-old girl Friday night.

Police were called to a crash at 15th Street and East Osborne Avenue at 9:48 p.m. Police said a white 1999 Ford van was heading north on 15th Street and made a right turn onto Osborne, where it struck Natalia Leonard, of 1210 N. Boulevard, who was riding a bicycle.

The van dragged the girl for two to three blocks, then took off, Police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said. Davis said police find it hard to believe the driver didn’t know he was dragging a bicycle and girl.

“We have someone who appears to be driving reckless,” Davis said.

Leonard was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where she died, police said.

Police say the driver of the van, Geraldo Rivera, 48, left the scene and returned to his home at 909 E. 26th Ave., where he was later found and arrested. Rivera is charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

This is the second hit-and-run fatality in the area in the past two weeks. On July 20, a 4-year-old boy died after being struck by a vehicle on North Florida Avenue and 109th Avenue. No one has been arrested in the case.

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