MIAMI (WSVN) - An elderly man who was riding a motorized scooter has died after he was the victim of a hit-and-run crash in Miami.
City of Miami Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene in the area of Northwest 13th Avenue and 54th Street, just after 6:30 p.m., Tuesday.
Alex Martir and his family found it hard to believe that Leonel Kindelan, Martir’s uncle, a beloved father and grandfather, was hit and left for dead in the middle of the street.
“At first, I couldn’t believe it because it was surreal,” Martir said. “It sucks. You don’t expect that from anybody. Nobody deserves that.”
Surveillance cameras captured the deadly hit-and-run.
“He was heading home. From what I understand, my auntie was arguing for him not to leave in his little scooter at that time because it was already dark,” Martir said. “She was telling him, ‘Don’t go, don’t go,’ and he just said, ‘No, I’mma go anyway.’”
Kindelan was on his way back home from the store at the time of the hit-and-run. As he waited for a break in traffic to cross the rest of the street, he got struck by what detectives said was a black Chevrolet SUV.
Cellphone video showed the heart-wrenching moments after the 68-year-old was thrown into the air and then hit by another car. The driver of the second car remained on the scene, 7News has learned.
Witnesses said that driver who fled was in a black Chevrolet Tahoe. Instead of stopping to help, the driver sped off south on 13th Avenue.
“They could’ve stopped,” a witness said, her face turned away from the camera. “They could’ve stopped because, at the end of the day, that’s somebody’s family.”
Kindelan was a retired carpenter and family man.
“Very hardworking guy. Great father. Amazing uncle,” Martir said. “I just remember him very humble.”
Kindelan was a humble man who escaped Cuba during the famous Mariel Boatlift in the ‘80s and arrived in Miami with his family in hopes of a better life.
A life cut short has now ripped an entire family apart.
“This man would give you the world if he had to,” Martir said. “We want justice, but at the same time, I’ll forgive you. It’s not easy. Just turn yourself in, please.”
Police are looking for a black Chevrolet SUV with extensive front-end damage and possibly with a Miami Heat license plate.
If you have any information on this fatal 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 $3,000 reward.
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