Clearwater Fire & Rescue and Clearwater Police were called to a hit-and-run crash with serious injuries just after 8:30 p.m. on Friday, September 25, 2020 on State Road 590 at Lucas Drive.
One car and two motorcycles were involved in the crash, and the car fled the scene afterward.
One of the motorcyclists, an adult male identified as 62 year-old Larry Eliachar, was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg as a trauma alert with serious injuries. The other person involved in the crash escaped serious injuries and was treated at the scene.
The vehicle that left the scene was initially described as a 2006 to 2012 BMW dark in color and possibly dark green, with front-end damage. The female driver initially exited her car briefly then drove off with her dog in her lap leaving two motorcyclists in the roadway.
Both motorcyclists were eastbound on State Road 590 and waiting to turn left on Lucas Drive when the crash occurred. The driver of the BMW also was eastbound when she failed to stop for them and drove into the back of them.
State Road 590 was shut down until about 11:30 p.m. between West Virginia Lane and Thomas Drive as traffic homicide investigators were on scene.
On Saturday morning, the Clearwater Police reported the vehicle, a 2007 green BMW 335I convertible, was located and the driver of the vehicle, 47 year-old Paula G. Rowe of Clearwater, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail. Rowe is charged with two counts of leaving the scene of a crash with injuries.
Police say her car broke down and had it towed to an apartment complex on US-19. She called police about 8 a.m. Saturday morning to say she was the driver.
Rowe said she left the scene because she was scared.
Rowe was released from jail at 5:08 p.m. on Saturday after posting a $10,000 surety bond.