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The Villages
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Villages bicyclist off ventilator as search continues for hit-and-run suspect

Jessica Laube

A Villager who was bicycling when she was struck by a Mercedes is off a ventilator and showing signs of improvement while the search continues for the hit-and-run driver.

Jessica Laube, 60, of the Village of Dunedin, is “Not able to speak and in lots of pain,” according to 68-year-old Robert Hunter, who was also injured when they were both struck by the Mercedes at 11:20 a.m. Friday as they were riding on Morse Boulevard near Bonita Boulevard.

The volunteer yoga instructor suffered brain trauma, even though she had been wearing a high-end, protective helmet.

“Looks like she was beaten with a baseball bat all over,” Hunter said of Laube, who is being treated at Ocala Regional Medical Center.

Hunter was also injured when he was struck by the Mercedes, whose female driver briefly got out of the vehicle and then got back in and drove away.

The Florida Highway Patrol continues to investigate the case and is searching for the white Mercedes, which is believed to have heavy damage to the right side and front windshield.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the FHP by calling *FHP or (813) 558-1800 or Crime Stoppers at **TIPS. 

“She will never ride again in The Villages, if she recovers enough to even ride. This speaks volumes to what The Villages has become,” Hunter said.

He and Laube purchased their home in The Villages in 2015. The couple is receiving emotional support from the tight-knit bicycling community in The Villages.

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