Authorities are seeking the public s help to find a driver they say was responsible for two hit-and-run crashes early Sunday, including one that left a bicyclist dead.
The Florida Highway Patrol has found a vehicle matching the description of a black Dodge Charger involved in two hit-and-run crashes early Sunday, including one collision that left a bicyclist dead, the agency confirmed late Sunday.
The vehicle was found after a tipster provided information to Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, the agency said.
The vehicle was towed to a Highway Patrol facility for examination. As of Sunday evening, no arrest had been made while troopers kept investigating.
The bicyclist was struck and killed by a car that had been involved in a hit-and-run crash moments before, the Highway Patrol said.The hit-and-run driver had been attempting to elude a victim from the first collision who followed him, said Joe Sanchez, spokesman for the Highway Patrol.
The name of the bicyclist hasn’t been released, pending notification of family.
“I think, with the information we have, perhaps we’ll be able to end the investigation as quickly as possible,” Sanchez said.
The bicyclist’s friend, Linda Harrison, questioned how someone was capable of driving away from a fatal crash. The bicyclist was headed to a store at the time of the crash, his friends said.
"Where's the humanity?” Harrison asked. “How can someone end someone's life brutally like this?”
The bicyclist’s friends said the man in his 40s always told stories about his Navy days, a service man who they said wasn't without his demons.
"He had a drinking problem. I can’t say everyone does, but he didn’t deserve to die like this,” said another friend, who declined to provide his name.
That friend said he thinks he may have been the last person who spoke to the victim in a phone call.
Harrison added: "We tried to help him. He tried to help himself."
The events of the crashes began when two cars that were westbound on Ives Diary Road collided around Interstate 95, Sanchez said. “As the driver fled the scene, the victim followed him and was able to obtain a partial tag,” Sanchez said.
As the crash victim followed, the hit-and-run driver stayed westbound on Ives Dairy Road until he pulled over in the 1300 block of Ives Dairy Road, Sanchez said. But then the hit-run driver abruptly drove off again, the agency said.
“That vehicle fled, trying to get away from the victim, and continued westbound where he was involved in another accident,” Sanchez said.
The second crash happened at Ives Dairy and Northeast 13th Court about 3:40 a.m., when the hit-and-run driver struck and killed a bicyclist, who at the time also was westbound on Ives Dairy, the Highway Patrol said.
After the second collision, the driver again drove away, Sanchez said.