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Man dies from injuries in July 4 crash

Tony Holt Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 04:41 PM

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Gerald Walker said he knows what's in store for his son.

The 62-year-old spent years recuperating from serious injuries from a 1977 motorcycle accident.

He said his 33-year-old son, Eric Joseph Hooper, of Brooksville, suffered a crushed thigh bone and badly broken foot following a head-on vehicle collision Wednesday morning along State Road 50.

"I know what he's going through," said Walker, "but I'm glad he's going to be OK."

The driver of the 2012 Buick Veranno that crashed into Hooper's 1999 Ford F150 pickup didn't survive, according to an update Thursday from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Nathan Peltz, 85, of Spring Hill, was airlifted to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, where he was pronounced dead, troopers said.

Peltz's wife, Diane, 83, was transported to the same hospital and was listed in serious condition.

Troopers said Hooper was driving his pickup shortly before 4 a.m. east along State Road 50 near the entrance to High Point when he crashed into Peltz's vehicle.

Peltz was driving on the wrong side of the road and was headed in the opposite direction in the same lane as Hooper, according to an accident report.

One of Hooper's passengers, Christina Lynn Coffey, 30, of Clearwater, also was seriously injured in the crash. She was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa.

A second passenger in the pickup fled the scene before authorities arrived. Her identity is still not known, troopers said.

Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call Trooper Michael Meier at (352) 754-6767, Ext. 155.

The investigation remains open. (352) 544-5283

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