A Fort Myers man was killed in a hit-and-run crash while riding a bicycle across US-41 in San Carlos Park Thursday night.
Now, authorities are saying hit-and-run crashes increase during the holidays. They say this comes down to there being more traveled and more people driving impaired. And, in just days, Florida’s Attorney General will discuss dangerous driving during the holidays.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a pickup truck driven by an unidentified person was traveling south in the inside lane of US-41 around 9:30 p.m. A car driven by a 35-year-old woman from Naples was traveling south on US-41, behind the pickup. The 69-year-old man riding a bicycle was crossing the southbound lanes of US-41 when the pickup truck collided with him.
The cyclist landed in the inside lane of US-41, south of where he was struck. The car drove over him, lost control and collided with a tree in the median, the woman receiving minor injuries. The cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.
The pickup truck driver left the scene of the crash with the bicycle wedged underneath the vehicle. The pickup was later found on Doral Drive, abandoned by the driver, around 1 mile away from the scene.
Troopers say drivers must stay on scene not only because it’s the law but also because it’s the right thing to do. They believe it could save a person’s life, and you could avoid jail time.
US-41 is a busy road. Car crashes are bound to happen here and often do. Madison Cox lives in Lee County. “I was worried I was going to get in a car crash because I almost got involved like basically in like a four-car crash going southbound on 41,” Cox said.
John Celestino also lives in Lee County. “I’ve definitely seen a lot of accidents on 41 driving home from work. I get out when it gets a little bit darker outside,” Celestino said.
These drivers say they’ve seen multiple crashes up and down US-41 in Lee County. “It’s like, surprising, but not at the same time. And that’s like, What’s sad about it is that,” said Cox.
“You can kind of see a lot of everything on this road. I think that people should be more aware of that,” Celestino said.
People in San Carlos Park say always being cautious is the key. “I would want to keep them as safe as possible, because like, I would want it, someone, if I had to do it. I would want to feel safe,” said Cox.
Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to contact FHP at (850) 617-2302 or Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477. Troopers say just one tip could help solve this case and bring closure to a victim’s family this holiday season.
The Florida Highway Patrol no longer releases the identities of people involved in vehicle crashes, citing Marsy’s Law.