University of Tampa student hurt in hit and run | News
TAMPA, Florida - Vincent Lanci was crossing Howard Avenue just south of North A Street early Sunday morning when he was hit by a gray or silver Acura according to Tampa police.
The 21-year-old's friends and family call him "Vinnie." Vinnie's sister, mother, and cousin can't bear to be away from his bedside at Tampa General Hospital for a moment. They're hoping for healing, and for answers.
Lena Gosik says, "He's still on a respirator, and he's laying in bed and he hasn't been responsive with us yet."
Gosik is Vinnie's cousin. She says the two grew up together. Gosik and her family want to know why someone would leave Vinnie in the street to die after running him over. Gosik, a University of Tampa finance major, was slated to graduate in May.
Tampa police say the person was driving a grey 2007 Acura TL 4-door sedan.
Gosik says, "I mean, I'd really hope that the person would see what they've done and just come forward at this point."
Vinnie's family flew in from New York, and they showed us a cell phone picture of Vinnie badly banged up and bruised with a head injury. He's received countless visitors checking in on him.
Gosik says, "He's just Mr. Popularity. Everyone loves him."
She says they believe Vinnie was simply walking home when someone slammed into him and kept going.
10 News spoke with his roommates, John Low and Steven Rodino. Low says, "It's just shocking to know the person is still out there. He knows that somebody's injured. He knows that a family is suffering."
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Rodino says, "I just want to find out who did this, because Vinnie was helpless, and the fact that someone had to hit him and leave the scene, it's very sad."
It's a feeling a lot of their schoolmates share. Many of them say it's normal to walk just about everywhere in the area. Channing Hailey attends the university and says, "One of the appeals of being here is that you can walk everywhere, and so students do."
Lattoddrea Key adds, "You have to be careful, because not everybody follows traffic laws."
10 News spoke with the lead detective on the case and he says they're trying their best to release some security video that might show the car that hit Vinnie. In the meantime, if you were in that area early Sunday morning and you saw anything that could help Tampa Police, they want to hear from you.