Father of five fighting for life after hit and run accident

National News

TAMPA (WFLA) – A father of five is fighting for his life this holiday week after a hit and run accident Sunday morning.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the incident happened around 12:18 a.m. Sunday near the intersection of Nebraska Avenue and 131st Avenue.

A white sedan was driving northbound on Nebraska Avenue at 131st Avenue and hit Mitchell Cribbs Jr., 33, while he was trying to cross the road. After the collision, the white sedan drove off.

Cribbs’ girlfriend of six years witnessed it all happened.

“I was scared and shocked,” Tabitha Grimes said. “I couldn’t believe it just happened.”

Grimes said she and Cribbs were on their way home from a Christmas party. They made a quick stop on Nebraska avenue and 131st avenue, and Cribbs walked across the street. On his way back to his car, an unknown driver hit him and left him on the ground to die.

“They just kept going, they didn’t even try to stop at all,” Grimes said.

Grimes said another driver witnessed the accident and stopped to help. She said that the driver also spoke to deputies about what they saw. Grimes also said FHP identified the car through surveillance video.

8 On Your Side requested that video from an FHP spokesman, but was told they did not have it.

The 33-year-old father of five is now recovering from brain surgery, but still is in critical condition and unresponsive at St. Joes hospital.

Cribbs and Grimes have a four-year-old daughter together.

“I didn’t know what to tell her,” Grimes said.

Grimes said that day, her daughter knew something was wrong. However, Grimes said she been staying strong ever since.

“She says that daddy is going to be okay and for Christmas, she says that daddy needs a lot of love,” Grimes said.

Grimes’ daughter says her Christmas wish is “for him to wake up.”

FHP and Grimes are hoping the driver who hit Cribbs comes forward. FHP said stopping would have been in that driver’s best interest because now they could be facing federal charges.

Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call FHP at 813-873-8477 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

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