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DANIA BEACH (CBSMiami) – There is a break in the case of a 57-year-old Dania Beach man who was struck and killed Thursday night by a hit-and-run driver.
BSO investigators said they have recovered a damaged maroon Ford F-150 pickup truck that may have struck the victim and are speaking with a person of interest.
BSO said that person of interest called investigators Thursday afternoon. So far, no charges have been filed.
BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that it may several days at least before charges are filed.
The developments happened after BSO put out a flier saying investigators were looking a maroon, 1992 to 1996 Ford F-150 pickup truck and saying there was a reward of up to $3,000 in this case.
BSO said the accident happened at 7:25 p.m. on Griffin Road at 26th Avenue.
Investigators are not releasing the victim’s name until his family has been notified of his death. Neighbors said they believed he was a native of Tennessee.
Bill Hidden told D’Oench that he and his roommate named “Joe” were crossing Griffin Road northbound and were heading home to the trailer park where they had lived together for the past three years.
“We had gone out to eat supper and have some ice cream,” he said. “We were crossing the street and he got hit by a maroon pickup truck. He almost made it to the other side before he got hit.
“It happened so quick. I couldn’t believe people would just take off after hitting somebody. Everybody in the trailer park loved him. I feel sad. He was just 57 and had plenty of time left to live. I hope they get the person who did this and that he does time. The least he could have done was stopped and called the cops.
“If you hit somebody, stop and make sure he is alright. If you hit someone and keep going you are going to be in more trouble. It’s going to hurt for a long time. He was like a brother to me. We did everything together.”
Moschella said, “It’s possible the driver would not have faced any charges if homicide investigators determined that the driver committed no crimes and wasn’t speeding or driving under the influence. He or she may not have faced charges at all.”
BSO fliers mention that more than 4,000 pedestrians in the U.S. are killed by vehicles every year.
Pedestrians are most often hit by cars when they cross streets at places other than intersections.
BSO said on average, a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic accidents in the U.S.
BSO warns pedestrians to be aware, pay attention, make eye contact with drivers, wear light colored clothing and reflective materials when possible and look both ways before crossing streets.
Moschella said, “If you’re a pedestrian crossing the road, watch out for cars and be careful.”
The agency also warns drivers to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections and to not block crosswalks and slow down and obey speed limits and take extra care around schools, playgrounds and in neighborhoods and be careful when passing stopped vehicles.
“There’s a lesson in all of this,” said Moschella. “If you are a driver, slow down, be aware of your surroundings, watch out for people crossing the road. Don’t let yourself get distracted such as when you’re on the phone talking to someone.”
Broward County has the second highest rate of fatalities from hit-and-run accidents in the state.
The Florida Highway Patrol says there were 17,479 hit-and-run crashes last year in Miami-Dade and 9,749 hit-and-run crashes in Broward.
Those crashes claimed 28 lives in Miami-Dade and 16 people in Broward.