KISSIMMMEE, Fla. – A 26-year-old Melbourne man retrieving a dropped key was struck by a vehicle and killed early Thursday in a hit-and-run crash in Osceola County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The FHP said Edward H. Johnson Jr. died in the accident, which happened around 2:20 a.m. near the intersection of Old Vineland Road and North Poinciana Boulevard, just east of the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.
According to troopers, a group of four were driving to their hotel room when Johnson had his arm out the window and accidentally dropped a key. The car stopped, and when Johnson got out to pick up the key, he was struck by a black 2007 Mazda sport utility vehicle.
The SUV fled the scene, troopers said.
"It's very disappointing -- I'm a mother -- and it's beginning to be a trend. It's happening a lot in (the Orlando area), but hopefully, if we get some help from the public, we're going to find this individual and do what we need to do to bring justice to the family," FHP Sgt. Francina Ogburn said.
The FHP said a black Mazda CX-7 with damage consistent with the crash was located around 7 a.m.
Troopers spoke with the owner of the vehicle, but he did not say he was driving the SUV at the time of the crash.
The vehicle involved in the fatal crash was initially described by officials as a pickup truck.
Vineland Road was closed in the area but later reopened.
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