MIAMI (CBS4) – Police are hunting for the driver of a minivan or crossover-utility-vehicle who ran down and critically injured a man out for his regular morning bike ride with friends Tuesday morning.
Fifty-one-year-old Patrick Johnson was hit by a driver who witnesses said ran a red light at North Miami Avenue and Memorial Highway at the edge of Biscayne Gardens.
Johnson, an accountant, was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition.
“He’s not doing so great right now. He has lots of fractures,” his wife, Marcia, told CBS4′s Gary Nelson Tuesday afternoon.
Marcia Johnson, a nurse at UM/Jackson’s Sylvester Cancer Center came running from her job nearby after her husband was brought to the trauma center with a fractured skull, broken neck, broken upper jaw and other fractures.
She held a zip-lock bag containing a half dozen of her husband’s teeth that police had picked up from the pavement where he was hit.
Johnson and his friends ride their bikes before work in a twice weekly routine.
“Tuesdays and Thursday mornings we ride, religiously, for the last six years,” said Frank Martin, who was with the group Tuesday.
Martin said he and the other cyclists, about half-a-block behind Johnson over a slight rise, didn’t see the actual impact, but passersby who did immediately stopped to help.
“Two plumbers were standing over him, making sure that nobody else would hit him because he was defenseless, down on the ground,” Martin said.
Martin said when he reached the scene moments after the impact, the driver of the vehicle that hit the bicyclist had made a u-turn and returned to survey the scene.
He took off, though, as the others were distracted tending to their injured friend.
“It’s horrible. They don’t know whether he lived or he died. They didn’t care,” Martin said.
Johnson’s wife appealed to the public and auto body shops to be alert for someone in a gray minivan or crossover with front-end damage and a smashed windshield.
“I just can’t imagine how someone could leave,” she said. “It’s just not humanely possible that someone could just drive off and not stop.”
Marcia Johnson described her husband as a “great guy, who is very fit, exercises and takes care of himself.”
The couple, both athletic, had plans to travel to the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament this weekend in New York.
“We had plans and now all of our plans are on hold. It is really bad,” she said, her voice choking.
Patrick Johnson is expected to pull through, but he faces a long and arduous recovery.
Anyone who can help in the investigation of the hit and run is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 305-471-TIPS(8477).