COOPER CITY, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida family is mourning the loss of a 14-year-old boy, hours after, police said, he was struck and killed by a pickup truck on a busy Miami Beach roadway.
According to Miami Beach Police, the teen was riding his bicycle near Alton Road and 50th Street when he was hit by a Dodge RAM truck, Saturday, at around 11:30 a.m.
Family friend Henry Patel identified the victim as Rudra Bhatt. “We have lost a young man. He was very bright,” he said.
Patel said the teen’s father had been tracking his phone to make sure his son got home safely. “He was coming from his school, heading home, and his father saw he was not responding for seven minutes on the same position,” he said.
Saturday night, Rudra’s father spoke to 7News about the tragic accident from a relative’s Cooper City home. “I called him like 15, 20 times. I said, ‘What happened?'” said Dakshesh Bhatt. “He didn’t pick up, so I thought something is wrong. Right away I took my car, right away, and when I [arrived] … the police, they said nothing was left.”
Shortly after, Rudra’s father arrived at the scene to learn his only child did not survive the impact. “Probably that was his worst nightmare come true,” said Patel.
As he continues to grapple with the heartbreaking loss, Dakshesh said he had hoped at one point his son was not the one involved in the accident. “Still, we cannot cry because we thought maybe some other kid took his bike,” he said, “and maybe, maybe, so still we’re hoping, but I don’t think so.”
Police said the driver of the pickup involved in the crash stayed at the scene and has cooperated with investigators.
“We are very close, and family and friends, so we share this loss together with the family,” said Patel as he held back tears.
In an email, Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez said, “This appears to be a very unfortunate traffic accident. Our investigators do not anticipate any criminal charges toward the driver.”
Police used a forensic scanner to map the scene. Alton Road was temporarily shut down while they investigated and was reopened to traffic just before 6 p.m.
A candlelight memorial for Rudra has been scheduled for Monday at Fisher Park in Miami Beach, beginning at 7 p.m.
The teen would have turned 15 in August.
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