PBSO: We’ll file charges against driver in hit-and-run that killed ‘fireball’ woman, 76


Martha Lasher called her daughter to say she was walking back from the gaming arcade where she had hung out with friends and would be home in five minutes. After 20 minutes, Kim Brearey and her high-schooler son got worried, and he went to look for her.

A little later, the teen found his 76-year-old grandmother. She’d been fatally injured by a hit-and-run driver.

On Wednesday, authorities said they’d found the car and driver in the Labor Day incident west of Boca Raton.

On Wednesday evening, authorities named the driver as Frederick Collins, 64, who lives in nearby Century Village. Charges will be filed with the Palm Beach County State Attorney, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.

“The driver has been interviewed and the vehicle is in the custody of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Vehicle Homicide Unit,” the sheriff’s office said in an 8 p.m. release. “This was accomplished with the help of Crime Stopper tips as well as the assistance of multiple divisions within the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.”

Collins, reached Wednesday evening, said, “I’m not going to make any statements at this time.”

Brearey said Wednesday evening this was the first she’d heard of the charges.

“Oh, my gosh,” she said. “That’s great news.”

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Earlier, she said she was “very glad that they found the car and driver so quickly,” Brearey said Wednesday evening. “A lot of times they don’t find anything. I was driving around every neighborhood.”

Lasher was walking west across Lyons Road near Glades Road at about 9 p.m. Monday when a light blue Mercury Grand Marquis in the outside southbound lane hit her, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

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Lasher was taken to Delray Medical Center in critical condition and later died at the hospital.

The sheriff’s office said it had been looking for a model from between 2006 and 2011, with front passenger-side damage and a missing passenger-side mirror. 

“My mom was a fireball,” Breary said Wednesday. “She was a very strong person.”

Breary said Lasher had modeled well into her 50s. Long divorced, she moved down from the Kalamazoo, Mich., area to be a nanny to Brearey’s son, and moved in last year with Brearey and the teen. Brearey’s sister died a few years ago, she said.

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The three had lived in the city of Boca Raton but had moved west a few months ago, Brearey said.

The new home is a short walk from the strip mall at the northeast corner of Lyons and Glades roads, and Lasher began going there a while back, her daughter said.

On Monday night, she said, her mother called “and said she was on her way home. It only takes five minutes. when she didn’t get home after about 20 minutes, my son became worried. She didn't answer the phone.

“He walked to the arcade. Then he saw all the police lights.”

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.



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