A Melbourne man was killed in a hit-and-run crash Monday morning while he was attempting to help the victims of another wreck in Polk County, according to Sheriff Grady Judd.
Judd said the initial crash happened just after 6 a.m. near the intersection of highways 60 and 630.
The sheriff said a 15-year-old boy was driving his 12-year-old sister to a middle school in Frostproof in a 2020 Chevrolet Traverse. The boy turned into the path of a Dodge pickup, driven by a 50-year-old man, causing the truck to T-bone the SUV the 15-year-old was driving, according to Judd.
The boy and the driver of the pickup suffered minor injuries, but the 12-year-old is in critical condition, the sheriff said.
Judd said a 34-year-old from Melbourne saw the crash and went to help but, as he was helping, a 2012 Honda van crashed into the Dodge pickup. The pickup then hits and kills the Melbourne man, according to the sheriff. Judd did not identify the Melbourne man who died in the crash.
He added that the people inside the van, then jumped out and ran off from the scene of the deadly wreck.
“So they jump out and flee. Did they stop to help the 12-year-old, the 15-year-old, like the Good Samaritan? No! Did they try to help the guy that ultimately died? No! Why? They’re too busy fleeing, running from the responsibility,” Judd said.
The sheriff said his investigators determined the Honda van was registered as being scraped in Arizona and could not be traced to a specific owner.
“There’s a lot of investigative work that we are doing in order to solve that case. We have had our bloodhounds, our aviation unit, deputies out looking as they fled into the woods. This is a very remote area of the county. We want them in jail,” Judd said.
He added that there is a $5,000 reward being offered through Crime Stoppers 1-800-226-8477.
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