Fla. Mom and Her Poodle Were Killed Crossing Street in Hit-and-Run — as Police Search for Driver

Harriet Sokmensuer

Authorities in Florida are searching for the driver in a hit-and-run that killed a 63-year-old woman who was crossing the street and her dog.

On Wednesday night, Anita Johnson was crossing McGregor Blvd. with her poodle, Diva, when she was struck by a car. The driver sped off from the scene, leaving both the woman and dog dead, NBC2 and WINK News report.

Johnson owned a local dog grooming business called Shaggy to Chic, her boyfriend told NBC2.

“She loved animals, she took pride in her work, she was an awesome groomer and super lady. She talked to you all the time, she knew every single thing about a pet that you needed to know. She was well informed just like a vet,” Lynn Adelson, a customer and friend, told local station Fox4.

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As authorities search for the driver of the vehicle, which is believed to be a light-colored Nissan Passenger, Johnson’s three sons are preparing for her funeral.

“You’ve got to come forward, they are going to find you sooner or later,” Johnson’s boyfriend, Phil “Phish” Ross, told NBC2. “There have been many lives ruined over this one incident.”

Crash investigators with the Florida Highway Patrol say the driver struck the pair before speeding away.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers online or by calling 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). Tips will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.