Howard Frankland hit-and-run accident victim’s sister speaks out

Family photo

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – The last time Zarais Perez-Borotto saw her brother Roger Perez-Borotto was last year.

Roger Perez-Borotto and his wife, family photo
Roger Perez-Borotto and his wife, family photo

“We were just at the theme parks and it was the first time in 17 years that I saw him, so it was the first and last time,” Zarais said while outside the Pinellas County courthouse Tuesday afternoon.

Through tears, she explained how she was feeling less than 36 hours after she learned her brother had been killed. “I’m overwhelmed, in disbelief. You know, you see the news, you always see it happen to other people, you never imagine it happening to you,” Zarais said.

READ MORE: Police detain suspect in deadly Howard Frankland hit-and-run

Roger was a hit and killed on the Howard Frankland Bridge Monday morning. The driver didn’t stop. However, hours later police determined the driver was Allison Huffman.

Investigators told News Channel 8 Huffman dumped her car at the Crowne Plaza hotel before catching a cab to the Hard Rock Casino. It was a friend who saw the news coverage and invited Huffman over Monday night. That friend turned her into police.

READ MORE: $750,000 bond for woman accused of killing tow truck driver

“I really hope that you know it sinks in what she did. We all make mistakes, but I really hope she realizes the pain that she caused,” Zarais said.

Roger Perez-Borotto's daughter
Roger Perez-Borotto’s daughter

Roger left behind a wife and 4-year-old daughter in Venezula. He was crossing Tampa Bay Monday morning when he saw two people who were stranded. He stopped to help them before getting hit.

“He was a very kind, humble, genuine man and very hard working. He was very much a family man. Just like what he was doing that night, the kind of man that you know goes out of his way to help someone else. That was him, very loving humble and genuine,” Zarais said.

Huffman appeared in a Pinellas County courtroom Tuesday afternoon. The judge gave her a $750,000 bond. Huffman will eventually be extradited to Hillsborough County to face charges there.

“I have no words for Allison, except, you know, she’s a coward for doing what she did. It’s disgusting. It’s absolutely disgusting,” said Luis Moralez who owns the towing company Roger worked for.

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Family photo
Family photo

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