Hit-and-run driver injures 3 cyclists in Palmetto Bay

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Police are searching for the driver who plowed into a group of cyclists on a Palmetto Bay road, Saturday, then fled the scene.

Witnesses said the 10 cyclists were riding in a bicycle lane when a car plowed into them.

The hit-and-run left one cyclist, Peter Leon, with his arm in a sling because of a broken hand.

“Before I could look up, a vehicle just plowed into me, sideswiping us, and my hand hitting his car and my head slamming into his car,” Leon said. “Tumbling on the side of his car until he bounced me off.”

“Definitely, definitely we could’ve been killed,” Leon added.

Photographs captured the injured cyclists down on the side of the road after the hit-and-run crash.

“I feel extremely lucky — like if I was born again,” Leon said, “and it’s something that, not as much for me, but that for my wife, the visual keeps replaying in my head ’cause she was right behind me.”

Standing outside of Jackson Memorial Hospital after receiving treatment, Leon said his biggest fear was falling under the car.

“My biggest fear was falling under the car,” Leon said.

Leon is part of a cycling group that rides each weekend. They ride from Miami and sometimes log up to 50 miles.

Miami-Dade Police Major Gadys Serralta said the department needs the public’s help finding the driver behind the hit-and-run.

“It is extremely important for us, not only to the biking community but the drivers as well,” Serralta said. “This driver, this lane is identified. It’s divided. The driver crossed over to the opposite side of the lane.”

Police did obtain a side view mirror from the car they believe was involved: a dark two-door 2013 Honda Civic.

Police returned to the intersection of Southwest 161st Street and 82nd Avenue, Tuesday, to look for additional clues.

“There is no excuse,” Serralta said. “There is no excuse for leaving the scene of an accident.”

Three of the cyclists suffered injuries.

“If it was a game, it was a foolish game,” Leon said. He could’ve taken out moms, dads, brothers, sisters. I mean he could’ve really hurt a lot of people.”

According to at least one witness, the driver appeared to deliberately plow into the cyclists.

If you have any information on this hit and run, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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