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Adam Garabrant

SEMINOLE — Authorities say a 60-year-old Seminole man was the real driver behind the wheel when a pedestrian from St. Petersburg was hit and killed last December, not the woman who was arrested at the scene.

Adam Garabrant was arrested Dec. 15 and faces a charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving death, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office announced in a news release late Dec. 16.

Thomas Rothwell, 70, was crossing Park Boulevard “in the area of a designated crosswalk” near the intersection of Starkey Road when he was struck by the driver of a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro around 12:49 a.m. on Dec. 16, 2021, deputies said. He died at the scene.

Investigators initially believed the driver was Francine Mashtare, now 55. Deputies said Mashtare showed signs of impairment, and she was arrested on a DUI manslaughter charge.

However, as the investigation progressed, the Sheriff’s Office says it learned that Mashtare had been in the passenger seat when the crash occurred and Garabrant was the one who had been driving.

According to the release, “Garabrant admitted to the owner of the bar Liquid Therapy that he was the driver and should have been arrested.”