MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a Dodge Ram pickup truck that took the life of a bicyclist Monday morning.
Neighbors tell CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that they believe the victim was a man in his 40s who was riding his bicycle to a nearby business or nursery when he was killed at 6:45 a.m. on S.W. 216th St. near 169th Ave. just east of Krome Avenue.
“That they left him there animal and that someone would not be responsible is upsetting to me,” said Carmen Ortiz, a shipping manager at a nursery near the scene of the accident.
“You don’t leave someone there like that,” she told D’Oench. “That person could have had a family or children to go home to. Now he can’t go back home. It’s sad. I know it’s an accident. But I hope they catch him.”
Ortiz said she would see the bicyclist riding on S.W. 216th St. every morning.
“He wore a jacket, a safety jacket,” she said.
Miami-Dade Police say the bicyclist has not been identified and it’s not known where he was working.
“I have been calling businesses trying to find out including a number of nurseries,” said Ortiz.
According to a flyer released by Miami-Dade Police, the hit-and-run vehicle is a 2010-2015 dark metallic gray Dodge Ram pickup truck that has damage to a right front headlight and is missing plastic facial under the headlight.
This accident comes after the Florida Highway Patrol said hit-and-run crashes involving fatalities increased 23 percent between 2013 and 2014.
Miami-Dade leads the state in such accidents, said FHP trooper Joe Sanchez.
Now penalties are enhanced for leaving the scene of an accident.
That’s because of the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act that was signed into law last year.
There’s now a mandatory, minimum term of four years for those convicted of leaving the scene of a crash with a death.
“Maybe some people are scared or they have no insurance or no driver’s license but there’s no reason to leave the scene of an accident when someone loses his life,” said Sanchez.