‘Full of Life': Mother of Teen Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver Seeks Answers

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A Miami mother is heartbroken after losing her first-born son who was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bicycle in northwest Miami-Dade over the weekend.

“He was my child. He was only 18 years old. Full of life," Yanelis Betancourt said Tuesday. "He wasn’t a dog to be thrown that way and be left behind.”

According to Miami-Dade Police, 18-year-old Derek Betancourt was riding his bike Sunday night when he was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Authorities said it happened along Northwest 196th Street and Northwest 47th Avenue just before 8 p.m.

The teen was struck by an unknown driver and left in the middle of the street where he succumbed to his injuries.

Police are now searching for a black 2015 to 2018 Mercedes Benz C300 with a missing left front grill and missing Mercedes emblem. There is also possible damage to the windshield.

As Derek's mother grieved, she described her son as a teen with a zest for life.

"He was always happy. Free spirited and always wanted to be out," Betancourt said.

Family and friends have left candles and balloons in the teen's memory, while his mother is seeking answers and help from the community.

“To find justice for my son. Whoever did this to him, please come forward. Please if anybody knows anything please contact authorities please," she said.

Anyone with information on the hit-and-run is asked to call Crimestoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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