Victim named in deadly Fort Myers hit-and-run; tips wanted about suspect

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Shown above is the suspect vehicle in a deadly hit-and-run that killed 74-year-old Paul Richard Hanson in Fort Myers recently. Police found the Ford SUV Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2021. Credit: Fort Myers Police Department.

Fort Myers Police Department confirms Wednesday a male pedestrian was killed in a recent hit-and-run in Fort Myers, as investigators continue to search for the suspect after tracking down the suspect vehicle.

According to FMPD, 74-year-old Paul Richard Hanson was hit and killed by an SUV last Saturday while walking in the area of the intersection with of Fowler Street and Carrell Road in the city.

Tuesday, police found the suspect vehicle, a Ford Expedition, at the Parker Lakes community in south Fort Myers after a tip by Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers led them to it.

Neighbors in the Parker Lakes community find it hard to believe police found the vehicle connected to the deadly hit-and-run near their homes.

“I’m very shocked,” George Dramko said. β€œThis is a nice quiet community.”

“It makes me vigilant, and it makes me more protective of my own territory,” Mark Weisinger said. β€œI don’t know how people can just walk away and leave somebody dead or dying.”

Weisinger thinks he saw the SUV getting towed near his home Tuesday.

“I saw an expedition on the back of a flat bed,” Weisinger said. “When I read in the newspaper about the hit-and-run, I started putting two and two together.”

Dramko says he saw FMPD Tuesday and wondered what they were doing in his south Fort Myers neighborhood.

“The police were parked there, and they asked me to open up the gate so they could go into the pool area,” Dramko said.

Both men wonder how the Ford got to Parker Lakes. They hope the driver is not one of their own neighbors.

“I would be very, very shocked if it was,” Dramko said.

“Not every part of the neighborhood is gated, and therefore anybody could come in here and ditch your car, and that may have been what happened,” Weisinger said.

If you have any additional information, you can call FMPD at 239-321-7700 or contact SWFL Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.

Police want to connect with anyone who might have had contact with the vehicle owner before or after the hit-and-run. Investigators say they can’t share the suspect’s name but say they know there are people with helpful information. See more pictures of the suspect vehicle on the FMPD Facebook post.

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