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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Fort Lauderdale police are investigating the death of a wheelchair-bound man who was hit by not one, but two vehicles whose drivers then took off.
According to police, the man was struck in the 500 block of West Sunrise Boulevard around 12:20 a.m.
Witnesses tell CBS4 News that two drivers hit the man in the wheelchair and took off.
“Next thing you know, I saw a car coming. I don’t know how fast he was going but he was going pretty fast and boom,” described witness Terrance Johnson. “Hit him and we just saw him going up in the air.”
Johnson said the driver took off and actually struck another vehicle but never stopped.
The victim was pronounced dead on the scene. His body in the street, his mangled wheelchair beside him along with a small American flag.
Friends identified the victim as 58-year-old Ron Gray, who is known in the area as ‘Popeye’.
Those in the area describe him as a well-known panhandler in the area.
That American flag with a peace sign hand scrawled on it was among the few possessions he had in the world.
“He’s was a good guy,” said Titus Zeek. “I knew him for a long time and he’s a good guy. He always in this area. This is his area. He frequents this area most of the time panhandling. ”
Gray is described as a homeless Vietnam veteran who took a bullet in the leg during the war and later lost the ability to walk after falling off a work truck. They say Popeye could be seen often in the skinny median on Sunrise, the same area where he lost his life.
Police say they are looking for a pickup truck and a car but provided no other description of the vehicles.