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'Shame on you for not stopping': Mother of hit-and-run victim pleads for answers

17-year-old Mia Schoen of Pompano Beach was visiting Tarpon Springs with friends when she was hit and killed while crossing the street early Tuesday morning.

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — Nearly four days after a 17-year-old girl from Pompano Beach was hit and killed while crossing the street in Tarpon Springs, police have not been able to track down the driver responsible.

Now, Mia Schoen's mother is speaking out in search of answers. 

"I just love my daughter and I'm going to miss her so bad. And I want justice for her. She deserves it. She was a good person," said Mia's mother, Karin Burkhardt, speaking to 10 Tampa Bay from her home in Pompano Beach.

Tarpon Springs Police said early Tuesday morning, Mia was crossing U.S. 19 near Klosterman Road when she was hit by a driver in a silver Toyota Pickup truck heading northbound. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The pickup truck driver left the scene, according to police.

Remnants left at the crash scene indicate the car that hit her was a 2014-2017 silver Toyota Tundra pickup truck. They're asking the public to keep an eye out for such a model with front-end damage. 

"Accidents happen, but then you stop." Burkhardt said. "You check on the person. You call an ambulance. You don't just flee like a coward and hide."

According to her mother, Mia was in Tarpon Springs with friends. She believes her daughter left the hotel where they were staying alone to walk to a nearby gas station to get a snack. 

According to Tarpon Springs Police, their preliminary investigation shows "a very high probability" that Mia was in the crosswalk when she was hit.

"Knowing that a driver did not pay attention and it results in a young teenager, beautiful, smart, with a whole life in front of her dead on the spot," Burkhardt said. "It makes me so angry. You have no idea."

Burkhardt is pleading to potential witnesses to come forward.

"If anybody saw anything anywhere in Florida, you see a silver Toyota Tundra with a beat up front," she said. "You have to call law enforcement. Could be him."

As for the driver, she has a message for them as well.

"Shame on you. Shame on you for not stopping," Burkhardt said. "Shame on you for not seeing her. Shame on you for not focusing while driving, which is rule number one rule when you take the wheel. Shame on you." 

Any witnesses to the crash are asked to call Cpl. John Gibson or Officer Steve Gassen at 727-938-2849.  

Those looking to support the family can find a GoFundMe Page by clicking here.

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