Cocoa cyclist falls into river, dies in hit-and-run; troopers search for suspect car

56-year-old victim died June 3

– The Florida Highway Patrol is searching for a vehicle that troopers said Thursday may have been in the area of a hit-and-run crash June 3 on Merritt Island that killed a bicyclist from Cocoa.

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol is searching for a vehicle that troopers said Thursday may have been in the area of a hit-and-run crash June 3 on Merritt Island that killed a bicyclist from Cocoa.

The vehicle — similar in appearance to the example at the top of this story — is a gray 2013 Chrysler 200 with Florida tag 20CCDL, troopers said.

FHP asked any mechanics that may have encountered the vehicle for a repair or replacement of its right front headlight or windshield after June 3 to get in touch.

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“It’s going to have damage on the right side consistent with striking the bicycle,” Lt. Channing Taylor said. “We believe the right front headlight or tail light assembly is going to be broken.”

The 56-year-old victim was struck at night along the Merritt Island Causeway near the Hubert Humphrey bridge in the westbound lanes, troopers said. A vehicle hit the man, sending him into the Indian River, then drove off.

A photo provided by troopers of a car similar to the suspect vehicle in a fatal hit-and-run crash in Merritt Island June 3. (Florida Highway Patrol)

Mikayla Franks said she was in a car behind the hit-and-run driver.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, there’s a bicyclist,’ and as soon as I said that, the car in front of us swerved and hit the bicyclist and we watched him fly over the bridge,” the witness said.

After the impact, Franks said she could see Morf was still alive but not for long.

“We were kind of yelling to him, ‘Just try to swim, try to stay afloat,’ but we watched him turn over,” she said. “He was just laying face down in the water and he stopped fighting.”

According to the crash report, the man’s body was later recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Anyone with information about the crash was asked to call FHP at (407) 737-2213, or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.