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Hit-and-run suspect takes out crepe myrtle on trip to have cat neutered

Lisa Keller
Lisa Keller

A hit-and-run suspect took out a crepe myrtle tree while she was driving to have a cat neutered.

Lisa Marie Keller, 59, of Leesburg, was found on March 22  in her heavily damaged car following the crash which took place near the Tavares Public Library.

“There was obvious fresh front end damage along with oil and other fluids leaking from underneath. The vehicle also had two flat tires, which were apparently from her being involved traffic crash,” the officer wrote in the arrest report from the Tavares Police Department.

Keller was accompanied in the vehicle, which had Massachusetts license plates, by her legally blind daughter and her grandson.

The daughter told police they were on their way to Misfits Spay and Neuter in Tavares to have a cat neutered. She said she’d heard her mother “hit” something, but was unsure what it was. She added that both she and her mother were unfamiliar with the area.

The officer retraced the car’s route and spoke to a witness. The officer found that a 12-14 foot crepe myrtle tree had been “split down the middle” when it was struck by Keller’s vehicle. The tree, which is the property of the City of Tavares, had been located in the center of a flower bed and was surrounded by concrete curbs.

Keller told police she is suffering from multiple health problems and has been taking oxycotin, though she said she hadn’t taken any on the day of the crash. The officer also found she was driving on a suspended license.

Keller was arrested on charges of hit and run, reckless driving and driving while license suspended. She was booked at the Lake County Jail and released after posting $1,500 bond.

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