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Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Witnesses help track down driver in hit-and-run wreck

Amber Nicole Harris
Amber Nicole Harris

A Leesburg woman was arrested after she reportedly fled the scene of a three-car accident she caused Sunday afternoon.

Amber Nicole Harris, 27, of 34518 Laralack Ave., was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and two counts leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. Witnesses were able to follow Harris and get photos of her and her license plate, which helped Leesburg police track her down.

According to the witnesses, Harris was driving a silver 2013 Honda SUV west at a high speed on U.S. 441 when she tried unsuccessfully to turn right (north) onto County Road 473. Witnesses said Harris lost control of her vehicle and struck a black 2021 Mitsubishi SUV with enough force to push it into a dark blue Chevrolet pickup truck while the two vehicles were stopped in the left-turn lanes, according to the police report.

The witnesses said Harris continued north on CR-473 after the wreck. They followed her vehicle until it eventually came to a stop, and they were able to get a photograph of Harris getting out to inspect the damage. They also got a photo of the license plate, which was traced to Harris’s address. A Lake County sheriff’s deputy spoke with the registered owner, who said her daughter was in possession of the vehicle. She called Harris, who agreed to return to the accident scene, the report said.

The occupants of the Mitsubishi were taken by Lake EMS to AdventHealth Waterman for non-life threatening injuries, while the driver of the pickup truck refused treatment at the scene. The pickup driver’s recollection of the incident matched the witness statement, according to the report.

When Harris arrived back at the crash location, she immediately asked whether she hurt anyone. She then said she was experiencing pain in her sternum. While waiting for Lake EMS to return, Harris repeatedly apologized and said she made a mistake. She was taken to UF Health Leesburg, where she refused to give a post-Miranda interview, the report said.

Harris was then taken to the Lake County Jail, where she was released Monday on $6,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on Aug. 29.

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