MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have located a critical clue in their search for the driver who, they said, struck and killed a pedestrian near a bus stop in South Beach and fled the scene.
Miami Beach Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene of the crash on the corner of Fifth Street and Michigan Avenue, just after 7 p.m., Thursday.
7News cameras captured an active scene, as well as some debris scattered across Fifth Street with evidence markers in place, as crime scene investigators cordoned off the area and searched for clues.
According to a witness, the male victim was sitting at the bus stop and walked across Michigan Avenue when he was struck.
Dashcam video provided by a witness showed the victim making his way across the road moments before he was hit.
“I personally do not believe there is any way that someone did not know they hit someone,” said Miami Beach Police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez.
The witness said the impact threw him into the air.
“The vehicle had the right of way; the pedestrian did not,” said Rodriguez. “That vehicle, though, did not stop and fled.”
Officials said the driver headed westbound down Fifth Street toward the MacArthur Causeway.
“Leaving the victim in the center of the street with serious injuries,” said Rodriguez.
Onlookers stopped to help the victim, who was in his 50s.
Paramedics transported the victim to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition. He later succumbed to his injuries.
A freeze-frame of the video showed the vehicle involved, a white 2020 Kia Sorento.
On Friday, police said, a tip led them to locate the vehicle in Opa-Locka. Cameras showed damage to the front passenger side.
Police believe the Sorento is a rental.
“Crime scene [investigators] will comb through that vehicle, extract DNA and extract any other evidence that may be inside that vehicle that may tell us who was driving at the time that the victim was struck,” said Rodriguez.
Officials said they are waiting until next of kin have been notified before they identify the victim.
Police are hoping they will receive more tips that will lead them to the driver.
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 $3,000 reward.
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