17-year-old arrested in deadly hit-and-run crash

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- A 17-year-old is under arrest in connection with a deadly hit-and-run that happened in January.

The teen is facing charges in the crash that killed 27-year-old Mark Evan Shepherd at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Palm Avenue.

Family and friends called Shepherd “The Flash.” His sister, Lauren Harkins, says he got struck by lightning when he was 12. Now that symbol, and his signature, are tattooed on her wrist.

“A lot of us have lightning bolts,” said Harkins. “It’s really difficult, not to have him around anymore.”

A girl from Immokalee, who was only 16 at the time of the crash, is accused in his death. Because of her age, WINK News is choosing not to release her name.

“It was a huge sense of relief for us,” said Harkins.

Police say the teen ran a red light and hit Shepherd’s car, sending it into a tree. He was pinned inside, and later died at the hospital.

According to officials, the teen left the scene and dumped the car she was driving in the front yard of a home on Franklin Street.

“The day of the accident I seen jumbled metal, and the loss of an innocent life,” said Tabitha Hansen, who witnessed the crash.

She helped give police a description of the driver’s car, a Kia Optima.

“Hopefully it makes the wrongs right and she can ask for forgiveness from his family.”

Harkins says it was the tireless work of police, “they worked endless hours,” witnesses, and tips into Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers that helped put the teen behind bars.

“Honestly, the witnesses were a huge, huge help this entire investigation. It’s going to help everyone around us have their own closure, not just my family, so many other people affected,” said Harkins.

Collier County deputies spotted the teen during a traffic stop on Sunday in Immokalee. They quickly found there was a warrant out for her arrest. She will be held at Lee County’s Juvenile Detention Center for 21 days.

She faces charges of failing to remain at the scene of a crash involving death.

The family set up a scholarship in honor of Shepherd, who was working his dream job as a graphic designed when he was killed. Donations can made directly to the Foundation for Lee County Schools in Shepherd’s memory.


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