Search underway for driver who hit man in Gulfport crosswalk, left him to die

Frankie McCray, family photo
Frankie McCray, family photo
The deadly hit and run happened at the intersection of 49th Street South and 11th Avenue in Gulfport.
The deadly hit and run happened at the intersection of 49th Street South and 11th Avenue in Gulfport.

GULFPORT, Fla. (WFLA) — Authorities are looking for the person who hit a man in a Gulfport crosswalk and then drove away, leaving him to die.

Investigators with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office say the deadly hit-and-run accident happened around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Frankie McCray, 41, was hit as he was walking eastbound in a marked crosswalk on 49th Street S at the intersection of 11th Avenue S. Deputies say McCray was pronounced dead at the scene.

The vehicle that hit McCray continued driving southbound and never stopped to help.

Those who knew McCray can’t believe it.

Dollar Deals Furniture, where McCray worked, opened late Thursday. Co-workers learned about McCray’s death early Thursday morning.

“He was just like a brother to me. Frank was with me every day,” friend Darrin Paulding said.

They worked together for more than a year.

Paulding said McCray moved to Florida after serving seven years in the Army.

Paulding said he took McCray home around 9 p.m. Wednesday. “And then somehow he ended up way up the street by 11th Avenue S, somehow, less than an hour later. And now I get the news, ‘Frank gone,’” he said.

Paulding said he hopes authorities find McCray’s killer. “I’m going to miss my friend, “ he said.

If you have information that can help investigators, call Corporal West of the PCSO Major Accident Investigation Team at (727) 582-6200; or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward contact Crime Stoppers at 1800-873-TIPS or www.crimestoppersofpinellas.org.

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