For newlyweds, Kurt and Cheri Holzbacher, this New Year’s Eve was supposed to be a night of celebration.
That’s the way it started.
The couple couldn’t wait to get to Clearwater that night where they’d have dinner with friends, toasting to the future.
Kurt and Cheri had a lot to celebrate.
Turns out, they’ve been in love their entire lives, a bond that began as kids. They were middle school sweethearts.
On Tuesday night, they spent time with close friends and family. The night was off to a great start with laughter and great conversation.
The couple left Clearwater shortly before 10:30 p.m., hopped on their Harley and headed home, hoping to get there in time to watch the ball drop.
They would never make it back to their house in Holiday.
Before night’s end, the newlyweds would be fighting for their lives, left for dead along Ulmerton Road.
“I’m hoping my brother, my friend, comes through, and I’m hoping this person either turns himself in or gets caught and gets justice on them,” said Tracey Ziegler, a family friend.
As the couple drove along Ulmerton Road that night, approaching the Highway 19 exit, they were struck by a car. The driver who hit them took off – leaving them suffering in the street.
“Yeah, they kept going,” said close friend, Tony Stouffer. “They left them for dead on the road. 10:30 at night, lot of traffic on New Year’s Eve to keep going, leave them laying there.to risk for somebody else not seeing them or whatnot.”
Right now, the couple remains hospitalized at Bayfront Medical Center. Kurt is in a coma, while his bride has been recovering in ICU.
According to friends, Largo police say the driver was most likely in a dark green Expedition.
Now, the search is on to find that person.
“Let’s find this person,” said Tracey. “They need to be off the streets because how many other people did they go around and hit that night.”
If you know anything about this case, please contact the Largo Police Department.