FHP: Manatee boy, 16, serious after being hit by car

MANATEE -- A 16-year-old boy from Manatee is at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with serious, life-threatening injuries after he walked onto an Interstate 75 exit ramp and was hit by car, Florida Highway Patrol reports.

An elderly couple from Wimauma was driving home from a shuffleboard tournament at Bradenton Shuffleboard Club when they took northbound exit 229 at around 7:45 p.m. Friday. The 16-year-old stepped into the highway right in front of their car, according to FHP.

The wife screamed, “There’s someone in the road!” and the driver swerved, but couldn’t avoid hitting the boy. He made contact with the front right of the Buick Rendezvous, his head crashing into the windshield, according to FHP trooper Jerry Smith.

The 16-year-old was with a 17-year-old girl. They are both Manatee County runaways, Smith said.

Several motorists stopped immediately and called 911.

“There will be no charges filed in this case, because the pedestrians were walking on the interstate which is illegal,” Smith said.

The exit, closed for some time, has been reopened.

Earlier reports of a man dying in a roll-over accident were incorrect.